Last season the Legacy boys soccer team made a run to the Elite 8 of the 5A state tournament. Falling in double overtime to in-town rival, Broomfield, the Lightning head into 2019 with a chip on …
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Last season the Legacy boys soccer team made a run to the Elite 8 of the 5A state tournament.
Falling in double overtime to in-town rival, Broomfield, the Lightning head into 2019 with a chip on their shoulders. With at least 13 seniors expected to find their way onto a talented, experienced roster, coach Anthony Romano is as ready as ever to get things underway this fall.
“They are a good group of kids,” Romano said about his senior class in a phone interview last week. “I know they have high hopes for the season and they have a lot of ability. I think they are going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of teams in the area.”
Competing once again in an extremely competitive Front Range League, the 11-year Legacy leader called the conference “A nasty place to be.” With an offensive attack returning everyone except one from a season ago, the back-end of the Lightning defense lost all four starters. Finding capable pieces to fill in at these positions could be the difference in a team hoping to make the next step.
“In the backfield, we will have some learning to do, but I’m confident the guys will be able to get to the speed they need to be at. It will be a learning experience initially for them, whereas the attacking half of our field will be chomping at the bit,” Romano said.
Leading a hungry, attacking group, seniors Blake Hansen, Joey Joiner, Ryan Bennett, Jake Maurek and Colten Armstrong hope to build off strong junior seasons. Leading goal-scorer, Hansen and Joiner, who led the group in goals two years ago, anticipate pushing the envelope at the top of the Lightning offense with wing, Armstrong. Romano also expressed his excitement for midfielders Bennett and Maurek. The two will be expected to be the engine of this team and set the tempo for how Legacy wants to play.
As eight seniors vacated the program, a couple of players stepping into new roles will be needed to showcase the depth that Romano has acquired the last couple of seasons. Three of those names are seniors Anthony Quidachay, Aidan James and the twin brother of Blake, Brandon Hansen.
Quidachay is an intriguing story. After not playing much a season ago, the upcoming senior has had quite the summer. The expected starter in the back-end spent a lot of his summer in Guam as part of his dual-citizenship. Trying out and making the U19 Guam National Camp, the veteran saw a lot of time at midfield and hopes to bring some of the skillsets learned back to his team at Legacy. James, will be playing soccer and potentially starting at center-back after running track last year. Hansen will take over as the full-time goalie after splitting time there last season.
Despite a successful 13-4-1 (7-3-1 in conference) mark last year and 11 wins the two years prior, one thing is on Romano and his squad’s mind: a conference and state title.
“Honestly, we haven’t had that conversation as a group yet, but I think if you ask those boys, that’s exactly what they are going to say. Last year’s team goal was we wanted to play at Dick’s (Sporting Goods Park). We were close, and I’m guessing when we have our goal-setting session this year, they are probably going to say the same thing. Truthfully, I think going that far always requires a little bit of luck, avoiding injury, but in the end, we have the horses. There are some kids here that can play, and we will see how well they put it together. I think in their minds they are playing for two big goals this year and that will be a conference championship and a state championship.”
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