LAKEWOOD — On a damp and dreary Monday night at Lakewood Memorial Field, Green Mountain’s boys soccer found a spark with the end of the regular season in sight.
The Rams got a pair of goals from senior Oliver Hoelscher, while senior goalie Ian Jones was sharp in net to end a 2-game losing streak. Green Mountain defeated Evergreen 3-0 in the Class 4A Jeffco League game.
“We definitely needed a win,” Green Mountain coach Ken Fehr said. “We knew our backs were kind of against the wall.”
Green Mountain (10-3 record, 3-2 in league) desperately needed some positive momentum after suffering back-to-back conference setbacks to Golden and Standley Lake. The Rams were outscored 6-1 in their last two games leading up to Monday.
Green Mountain had given up just three goals in its first 10 games.
“We all just did our jobs on the field and it worked out,” said Hoelscher, who scored in the 12th and 77th minutes to get him to a dozen goals on the season.
It wasn’t easy for the Rams. Green Mountain had to play a one-man down for the final 60 minutes of the game. Junior Blake Schell was red-carded in the 20th minutes for fouling Evergreen senior Ryan Gutberlet on a direct path to the goal.
Despite playing shorthanded, the Rams got a goal from senior Zach Jesaitis tapping it in from the front of the goal in the 22nd minute to take a 2-0 lead.
Evergreen had its best chance to get back into the game when the Cougars (5-8, 2-3) were awarded a penalty kick in the 49th minute. However, Jones came up huge with a save on the shot from Evergreen junior Nick Graziano and also made the save on a rebound shot.
“We practice them, so I was ready,” Jones said of his penalty kick save. “Practice always pays off.”
Jones made a handful of nice saves as the Cougars were able to get pressure to get on the scoreboard. In the end, Jones walked of the field with the Rams recording their ninth shutout victory of the season.
“He (Jones) has saved us three or four times making saves on PKs so far this year,” Fehr said. “If we give up a PK I always feel comfortable with him back there.”
Hoelscher added a goal in the final minutes to cap off the victory.
“Oliver is on a different level when he is on and hitting the ball,” Fehr said. “He is a dangerous player.”
The Rams have a non-league game against Bear Creek at 5 p.m. Thursday at the North Area Athletic Complex. Green Mountain gets back into conference play at 7:30 p.m. at Littleton Public Schools Stadium against the league-leading Littleton Lions.
“We just need to keep playing,” Fehr said as the end of the regular season is on the horizon. “We aren’t looking at anything except winning these last few games.”
Evergreen might be below .500 on the season, but that isn’t a good indicator of how the Cougars have played this season. Five of Evergreen’s losses were by one goal and three of those were overtime losses.
The Cougars started conference play with one-goal losses to Littleton and Standley Lake, but came into Monday’s game on a 3-game winning streak while scoring 15 goals in victories against Wheat Ridge, D’Evelyn and Steamboat Springs.
Evergreen is back at Lakewood Memorial on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Cougars face Golden, No. 7 in the newly released CHSAANow.com 4A boys soccer rankings, at 7 p.m. on Thursday.