Spartans soccer demolishes Mead for first win of season

By Aaron Reynolds
The Surveyor

Thanks to a loaded early season schedule the Berthoud Spartans boys soccer team found themselves playing five games in 10 days – overwhelming for any sport much less one that is renowned for pushing players to the brink of exhaustion.

Fittingly the early-season marathon culminated with a home-and-home series the week of September 4-10, against Silver Creek and Mead High School that truly represented a tale of two tales.

Hosting a talented group from Silver Creek in Longmont, Berthoud was simply outmatched by a quick and powerful squad that scored and scored often in a lopsided 10-1 loss on the Spartans home turf.

Sensing the anger and frustration of being blown out on their own pitch – head coach Jason Hughes called practice early on Wednesday so the team could regroup and refocus on a season they envisioned to be much stronger than a disappointing 2015.

And it worked.

The Spartans came out with a fire against the visiting Mead Mavericks. Midfielder Curtis Peacock scored the first goal of the game, signifying the first time this season Berthoud held a lead and the Spartans never looked back from there.

A goal from junior Ben Marquardt just 20 seconds later and a third by junior Tate Rees had Berthoud up 3-0 just over five minutes into the game. Mead countered with their only goal before striker Tyler Markell netted what would be his first of three goals on the night, marking the second hat-trick of his career.

After taking a 4-1 lead into the break – Berthoud shutout the Mavericks in the second while primarily playing their reserves. Peacock just missed on a cross-header that easily would have been the play of the night, if not season while sophomore Conrad Ellis put in the only penalty shot, and as the clock ticked down to zero a resounding 7-1 displayed on the scoreboard.

“We ended practice about 30 minutes early and had a discussion about things we need to change to start getting some wins,” Peacock explained after the victory.

Markell added, “We definitely started seeing those changes today. We started swinging the ball; started playing out wide. The meeting definitely helped.”

Coach Hughes remarked, “We didn’t really change that much this game (from Silver Creek). The good thing was keeping shape and actually playing soccer. We weren’t playing kickball. We were actually doing it the right way. We were making the passes, making the runs, looking and carrying the ball at the right times. We were actually executing what we’ve been practicing.”

Silver Creek 10, Berthoud 1

The Spartans were simply outmatched when the Raptors from Silver Creek came into town Tues., Sept. 6. The Spartans got off to a slow start allowing the Raptors to score within the first minute of the game.

“We fell into what we did last year,” Hughes said following the contest. “We need to stop doing that. We came out flat; we were flat all game.”

Silver Creek was simply too fast and powerful for the young Spartans to contain though the game did feature a few bright spots. Despite the 10-1 final score junior goalkeeper Hunter Hursey was good in net making a couple of diving saves including a terrific penalty kill stop. He played admirably considering the ball was on his side of the field practically the entire night.

Berthoud gets a much needed break next week playing only one match at Frederick High School on Sept. 14. They return home Sept. 19 for their final non-conference game against Greeley Central High School.