LAKEWOOD — It took a little bit, but Green Mountain’s boys soccer team was able to flip the switch in time Monday night at Lakewood Memorial Field.
Wheat Ridge, looking for its first win of the season, grabbed a surprising 1-0 lead with a goal from junior Jean Baptiste Uwayezu in the 24th minute.
“Wheat Ridge came out hard and didn’t quit,” Green Mountain coach Ken Fehr said. “We didn’t come out hard and had to come from behind. Tying it before halftime was good.”
Green Mountain senior Zach Jesaitis got the equalizer in the 36th minute off a great centering pass from junior Connor Haussler. The Rams went on to score six unanswered goals to an eventual 6-1 victory.
“Connor had a beautiful run down the outside and crossed it in. I was running in parallel to him,” Jesaitis said describing his first of three goals on the night. “It was a nice shot to the corner and it went in.”
It was all Rams in the opening 15 minutes of the second half as Green Mountain (9-1 record, 2-0 in Class 4A Jeffco) poured in five more goals. Wheat Ridge (0-10, 0-1) fought hard, but couldn’t match the Rams’ offensive power in the second half.
“The first half was excellent,” Wheat Ridge coach Dave Osse said. “We’ve been struggling all year. We’re kind of young and things just haven’t gone our way. We did a great job first half.”
The goal the Farmers scored in the first half was just the third goal Green Mountain had surrendered this season. The Rams’ 2-0 loss to 5A Jeffco’s Chatfield was the lone other goals Green Mountain has given up so far this year.
“If you don’t finish your opportunities when you have them you let teams hang around,” Fehr said. “We did it in the second half.”
Jesaitis, junior Greyson Gines and senior Konrad Buschbacher scored goals in a span of four minutes — 52nd to 56th minutes — during the second half. Gines added a goal on a penalty kick in the 60th minute and Jesaitis finished off his hat-trick in the 65th minute.
“It bounced off his (defender’s) arm. I kind of felt bad,” Jesaitis said of his final goal. “I kind of felt bad. I didn’t want to celebrate too much. We were already up 6-1.”
Green Mountain hadn’t played in 10 days since winning its conference opener 1-0 against D’Evelyn on Sept. 14.
“We didn’t underestimate Wheat Ridge by any means,” Fehr said. “But we didn’t come out the way we did. We had a couple of days off and it showed.”
The Rams won’t be able to avoid a slow start when they face Golden at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at the North Area Athletic Complex. The Demons (8-2, 2-0) blanked D’Evelyn 2-0 on Monday night at NAAC. Golden is currently ranked No. 10 in the CHSAANow.com 4A boys soccer poll.
“Golden is going to be a tough test on Friday,” Jesaitis said. “Standley Lake and Littleton will also be hard.”
Wheat Ridge has a week off before turning to Lakewood Memorial next Monday, Oct. 1, to face Evergreen.
“We’ve got to find a way,” said Osse of the Farmers going after their first victory. “We’ll keep plugging a way at it.”