ARVADA - Hunger and humility.
Those are the two words the Standley Lake girls soccer team are playing with this season, and so far the Gators have taken those words to heart.
Through three games, Standley Lake has outscored its opponents 13-1 — including topping Mountain Range 2-0 on Monday night at the NAAC.
“If we continue to play with hunger and humility we are going to be successful ,” Gators’ coach Jeff Vigil said. “When we aren’t, and we are too satisfied we are going to struggle.”
Standley Lake has been on top of its game, going 2-0-1 overall through the early stage of the season. The Gators’ lone blemish came in a 1-1 tie to Rampart on the road.
But in the Gators’ two wins, they have used their defense to cruise by their opponents. Keeping Mountain Range scoreless Monday, and cruising to a 10-0 win over Northglenn in the season opener.
“We are doing a good job,” Vigil said. “Just trying to defend all over the place and put pressure on the ball and make it tough for them on bringing the ball up the field.”
That defense was big against Mountain Range, especially with the Gators’ offense struggling in the first half and both squads being scoreless at halftime. But in the second half, Andra Thaden put Standley Lake on the board after scoring on a penalty kick.
Nearly five minutes later, Taylor McRae found the back of the net to seal the victory for the Gators.
McRae and Thaden are two of seven players that have scored for Standley Lake this season, with junior Emily Ashmore leading the squad with three goals and three assists. Ashmore also led the Gators in goals last year.
“When we buy in and play with a lot heart and for each other good things can happen,” Vigil said. “I keep telling (the girls), they have a lot of good things going for them.”
For Mountain Range (1-2-1) the early schedule has been a learning lesson for the young Mustangs’ squad, which includes nine underclassmen that are starting.
Mountain Range topped Northglenn 2-0 in the season opener, but have hadn’t much luck since then.
The Mustangs were shutout by Broomfield, but battled to a 1-1 tie to rival Poudre on Mar. 14.
“It’s a brand new team. We are just trying to get experience, and build chemistry,” Mountain Range coach Tyler Elbin said. “We have a lot of underclassmen on varsity, they are a talented group but haven’t played a lot together.”
In the Mustangs’ season opener, freshman Sophia Garcia and sophomore Alexa Swenson found the back of the net. Freshman Aimee Thorstensen has scored the other goal for Mountain Range in a 1-1 tie to Poudre.
Elbin does have senior Vanessa Gallegos, who scored eight goals, to lean on. However, the Mustangs lost junior Josie Matlik on Monday with what Elbin believes could be a season-ending injury.
“She was a pretty good player, you hate to see injuries,” Elbin said.
The Mustangs had a non-conference game against Pomona canceled and they won’t have long to soak in their non-conference loss. Mountain Range opened the Front Range League against Greeley West on Wednesday and then host Legacy after Spring Break on April 4.
“The league is going to be tough,” Elbin said. “Fort Collins and Boulder teams are always tough. It is competitive all the way through, but I think as the season progresses we are going to get better and better.”