LAKEWOOD — Chatfield senior Connor Vernon ended his scoring drought in a big way Tuesday night at Lakewood Memorial Field.
The Chargers’ senior striker had a hat-trick in the opening half in the boys soccer non-league game at Lakewood Memorial Field. Vernon hadn’t scored for Chatfield (3-0 record) yet this season.
“A lot of credit to my teammates,” Vernon said after the Chargers’ 5-0 shutout victory over the winless Wheat Ridge Farmers. “They definitely set me up with some great through balls.”
Goals in the 2nd and 3rd minutes for Vernon was just what Chatfield was looking to do. Wheat Ridge defeated Chatfield 2-1 in a non-league game between the two Jeffco programs last season at Lakewood Memorial.
“That was our focus initially in the locker room,” Chatfield co-head coach Ryan Miller said of the two goals in the opening three minutes. “We’ve had some slow starts and kind of allowed teams to be in the game when maybe they didn’t earn it.”
Vernon put in his third goal with less than two minutes to go in the first half.
“He (Vernon) is one of those guys who we wanted to get started. He definitely took the challenge,” Miller said. “He is a really talented player when he is able to get the ball in the right spot.”
Less than a minute after Vernon’s third goal, senior Kevin Peterson got into the scorebook with a nifty volley off a centering pass from senior Grady Rowedder to put the Chargers up 4-0 at halftime.
“It was a good cross and just came off my foot right,” Peterson said. “It was good to get a goal and good to get a win.”
Peterson’s volley just tapped off the post and into the back of the net in the 39th minute. Wheat Ridge senior goalie Cameron McDaniel had no chance to make the save.
Chatfield senior Hayden Stolcis put in the lone goal in the second half in the 64th minute to make the final score 5-0.
“I think it has been awesome,” Peterson said of the Chargers’ 3-0 start to the season. “We just need to keep going. It’s nice to get the goals and scoring chances.”
Chatfield had a non-league game Sept. 1 against Rampart in Colorado Springs. The Rams had a 1-0 lead in the first half when the game had to be postponed because of weather. The plan is to finish the game against Rampart later during the regular season.
The race toward the Class 5A Jeffco League title should be an interesting one this season. Arvada West, No. 9 in latest CHSAANow.com 5A boys soccer rankings, and Ralston Valley have dominated the conference combining on winning the last six league titles. However, the addition of Valor Christian (4-0) to the conference adds an additional dynamic.
“We are talking about building momentum hitting league,” said Miller, who is co-head coaching with Brock Blume this season. “We want to hit Valor with a full starting 11 that we feel confident with, so we are still working some players into different positions.”
Chatfield has three more non-league games — Green Mountain, Liberty and Standley Lake — before opening conference play at Valor on Sept. 17. The Chargers finished fourth in the league standings last season.
“It’s going to be a good game. I know some kids over there,” Vernon said of the league opener against Valor. “It’s going to be a good and competitive game. We’ll be ready for it.”
Wheat Ridge (0-4) is still looking for its first victory of the season. The Farmers next match is Sept. 11 at the North Area Athletic Complex against Dakota Ridge.