Injury bug strikes BHS soccer team first week of season

By Aaron Reynolds
The Surveyor

Last season the young Berthoud High School boys soccer team limped to a 2-13 overall (2-10 conf.) record with growing pains to be expected, as the varsity squad was composed primarily of sophomores, with only one senior and one crucial piece to the team, Ben Marquardt, missing almost half of the season due to a concussion.

Needless to say, health was something Head Coach Jason Hughes hoped would not be an issue with his emerging squad, yet the injury bug has already struck a team with hopes to be a major sleeper in the 4A Tri-Valley Conference.

Injuries are not supposed to paralyze teams until midseason at the earliest, yet literally hours before the first match of the season Hughes learned center-midfielder Marquardt would be out with another concussion.

The bad news is the Spartans are 0-3. The good news? The team demonstrated resiliency in a brutal opening week that challenged the group with three games in six days with Tyler Markell and Connor Liebman also not competing at full strength.

Northridge 4, Berthoud 0

The season opener proved a difficult contest for Berthoud, as Northridge just missed out on the playoffs last year going 10-4-1, and Hughes learned hours before the match Marquardt would be held out with a concussion. Indeed it was, as the Grizzlies shutout the Spartans and scored four goals for a convincing victory.

“We went into there a little flat,” Hughes noted. “It’s one of the largest fields we’ll play on. It’s almost regulation size, where the fields we normally play on are in the minimum or mid-amounts. It just wore our boys out. Changing the way you play on a large field as opposed to how you play on a smaller field is a total strategy change.”

Westminster 4, Berthoud 1

Though Berthoud had already gotten one match under their belt, the trip down Interstate 25 proved to be successful for the home squad from 5A Westminster, as the Wolves opened the 2016 campaign with a victory. The Wolves (9-6 last season) didn’t show much rust, netting three goals in the opening half.

“Westminster came out and went up on us 2-0 fairly quickly,” Hughes acknowledged. “We changed our formation around; we went more on the attacking side. Quite honestly, playing a 5A school in Westminster who just missed the playoffs last year – the second half they were on their heels most of the game. They didn’t score until the last 10 minutes. We had some shots that just wouldn’t go in.”

Junior Tyler Markell – who has already established himself as the top-scoring threat for Berthoud – registered his first goal of the season in the loss.

Mountain View 4, Berthoud 0

A rare weekend tilt against nearby Mountain View High School was victorious for the visitors as Mountain View blanked the Spartans 4-0, scoring two goals in each half. Two penalty kicks that resulted in goals clearly did not help Berthoud, as Hughes agreed, “That game would have been totally different if we didn’t make those two mistakes.”

Spartans returned home to face their final non-conference opponent — Silver Creek (2-1) on Sept. 6. The Spartans were defeated 10-1.

They follow that up with a Sept. 8 tilt against Mead.