The Windsor boys soccer team has seen bad starts before. To date, the Wizards have always been able to overcome them.
The same was true Saturday when the Wizards overcame a poor start to take an early lead only to allow two second-half goals en route to a 2-1 loss to Niwot in a Class 4A boys soccer second round playoff game in Niwot.
Niwot goes on to face perennial power and No. 2 seed Broomfield on Thursday.
“Really, we had a tough start to the match,” Windsor coach Phil Weiser said in a phone interview. “Very nervy again to start. Took about 15-20 minutes to settle in and we were able to establish more possession.”
That possession led to the game’s first goal, which came on some quiet communication between Ryan Kurtz and Christian Johnson.
“He looked at me and I looked at him and he got me the ball,” Johnson said in a phone interview. “I saw the goalie’s positioning after I got the ball and was able to put it by him. I felt like it was the perfect set up.”
From there, Johnson said the Wizards got into a groove. That groove just wouldn’t translate into a second goal.
Niwot answered a few minutes after halftime on a penalty kick after some rough play in the box. The equalizer shifted the momentum, Weiser said.
“It’s always deflating,” said Weiser, talking about giving up goals. “I think the boys did a decent job... But it’s deflating. It was less an effect on our team, more an effect on their team.”
Niwot carried that momentum to another goal around the 60th minute and though Weiser said the Wizards kept their composure for about 10 minutes, Johnson said he thought the go ahead may have put Windsor into panic mode.
“(After the second goal) I looked at everybody and said, ‘Ok guys, let’s calm down and do this,’ ” junior midfielder Johnson said. “Twenty minutes is plenty of time for chances. I think we panicked a bit.”
That panic took the Wizards out of their traditional gameplan despite Weiser’s instructions.
“We constantly stress it’s an 80-minute game,” Weiser said. “You can’t throw gameplans out.”
Instead of their normal outside-in attacking style, the Wizards seemed to go straight ahead, Johnson said. As a result, Windsor didn’t see many good opportunities to score after Niwot took the lead.
Though the loss is tough to swallow for Windsor seniors, Johnson said he and the other underclassmen will take a lesson from the defeat.
“It kind of teaches us all a lesson,” Johnson said. “I know my senior year, we’re going to give it everything we’ve got. We all feel pretty bad. Especially the seniors. And we would hate to be in that position.”
Niwot 2, Windsor 1
WHS 1 0 — 1
NHW 0 2 — 2
Scoring — WHS, Christian Johnson (Ryan Kurtz) 30th minute; NHS, 50th; NHS, 60th.
Windsor 3, Air Academy 2
AAHS 0 2 — 2
WHS 2 1 — 3
Scoring — WHS, Christian Johnson (Noah McKenzie), 14:53; WHS, Alejandro Mendoza, 17:20; AAHS, Austin Dewing, 60:02; WHS, Johnson (Ryan Kurtz), 64:51; AAHS, 78:18.
Shots — AAHS 17, WHS 7.
Shots on goal — AAHS 7, WHS 4.
Saves — AAHS (Matt Pipan) 1, WHS (Mitchell Winner) 5.
Corner Kicks — AAHS 9, WHS 0