No. 4 Legacy boys soccer overcomes early deficit to Ralston Valley

Ralston Valley junior Ryan Savage (16) and Legacy junior Gavin Bhan (2) race after the ball during the first half Monday at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

ARVADA — Legacy had its shutout streak on the boys soccer pitch end Monday tonight, but kept its undefeated record intact.

The Lightning trailed Ralston Valley early in the first half at the North Area Athletic Complex, but eventually cruised to a 7-2 victory.

Legacy seniors Jake Maurek (10) and Blake Hansen (5) celebrate after the Lightning scored three goals over the span of four minutes to take a 4-1 lead into halftime. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“They did respond well to giving up a goal and being down early,” Legacy coach Anthony Romano said after the Lightning improved to 3-0 on the season. “It’s good to know they have that ability.”

Ralston Valley actually grabbed an early 1-0 lead on Legacy — No. 4 in this week’s Class 5A boys soccer rankings. Senior Hayden Miller converted on a penalty kick in the 8th minute to grab a 1-0 lead for the Mustangs (1-2-1 record).

However, Legacy responded with authority. Senior Joey Joiner found the back of the net a minute after Miller’s goal to tie things up 1-1.

“I think it was great that it happened tonight,” Legacy senior Jake Maurek said of the Lightning giving up their first goal and trailing for the first time all season. “We responded really well after giving up that goal. Now we know what it feels like.”

The Lightning — a 5A state quarterfinal team last season — really got hot midway through the first half. Maurek scored a pair of goals and senior Blake Hansen pushed Legacy’s lead to 4-1 with a goal in the 25th minute. The trio of goals by Maurek and Hansen came in a span of four minutes.

“We have a lot of guys who can find the back of the net individually and as a group when they are firing they connect well,” Romano said. “I think they are hard to handle for any team.”

Ralston Valley junior Zach McDonnell (10) attempts to volley a shot on goal during the Mustangs' non-league game Monday at the NAAC against No. 4 Legacy. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Ralston Valley continued to battle in the second half. Miller scored his second penalty kick goal in the 45th minute to trim the lead to 4-2.

Legacy extended the lead back to a three-goal lead with Joiner scoring his second goal of the night in the 57th minute. The Lightning weren’t done. Hansen scored back-to-back goals in a span of three minute to grab a hat-trick.

Hansen and Maurek are tied with six goals each on the season through three games for Legacy.

“It might be,” Maurek said of what might become a friendly competition of who will lead Legacy in goals scored this year. “We are best friends on the field and off the field.”

The Lightning is back in action Thursday night at North Stadium. Legacy hosts Niwot.

Ralston Valley has tough test against another top-5 ranked team. The Mustangs host No. 3 Grandview — 5A state runner-up last season — at 7 p.m. Friday night at NAAC.

Legacy senior Anthony Quidachay (6) prepares to clear a ball out of the Lightning goal box before Ralston Valley junior Charlie Tingle (5) can get a foot on it. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)