LAKEWOOD - It’s better to suffer a little heartache now than suffer big heartbreak in the playoffs.
That is the way Wheat Ridge boys’ soccer is feeling after a 1-0 loss to Rock Canyon Thursday at Lakewood Memorial Field.
Down 0-1 it looked like the Farmers hard work for 80 minutes was about to pay off when Wheat Ridge junior Max Sweeney was taken down and awarded a penalty kick with just 35 seconds left in the game.
However, Sweeney’s good shot was stopped by a great save by Rock Canyon goaltender Sam Makikalli. Makikalli stopped Sweeney’s shot cold, just as Wheat Ridge thought they were going to tie the contest.
“It’s a tough way to lose, but we can keep our heads up because we played good enough to win today, it just didn’t happen,” Wheat Ridge coach Tony Thomas said.
The heartbroken Sweeney was consoled by his teammates and with less than a minute left in the game the Farmers continued to fight and attempt to tie the game.
But a single goal scored by Rock Canyon junior Oliver Larsson in the first half would stand up as the game-winning goal, even though if you didn’t see the score but watched the action you might think that Wheat Ridge won the game.
The Farmers outshot Rock Canyon 8-5 and controlled the action and tempo for big stretches of the game.
They simply could not find the back of the net and fell to a tough nonleague opponent.
“We outshot them, we out worked them, we just didn’t win the game today. But that is what you get early in the season. We need to get better and we will,” Thomas said.
Sweeney was visibly upset after the game but his coaches and teammates were certainly not upset with him. That is because the junior is one of the best players on the Farmers’ roster and even though Sweeney couldn’t convert against Rock Canyon he will be a crucial part of any success Wheat Ridge will have this season.
The Farmers (0-1) will play at Chatfield Friday at 6 p.m.