Stephanie Rowe got slugged in the face March 10 and was none too happy about it.
Moving through the midfield in Chatfield’s Class 5A nonleague match against Fort Collins, Rowe took a hand to the grill and was dropped. Sure, the referee awarded the senior a foul, but that wasn’t taking away Rowe’s indignation.
“I just wanted to get back at them,” Rowe said.
Rowe sized up the subsequent free kick and ripped a beautiful ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net from 31-yards out as the Chargers ran out 5-1 winners over the Lambkins.
Chatfield got off to a slow start, laboring unnecessarily for a 1-0 lead at halftime. The Chargers found their stride after the break as they strung together shorter passes and moved into space off the ball to dissect the Lambkins on the flanks and around the goal.
Rowe’s corner kicks led to goals by Kelly McGrath and Kate Kurtenbach, and Callie Hancock and Chelsea Mangold each scored to ensure the rout.
“We came alive in the second half, for sure,” Chargers coach Brock Blume said.
The Lambkins pulled one goal back in the 90th minute against Chatfield’s backup goalie Natalie D’Adamio.
Even then, the Chargers nearly scored their sixth goal seconds later when Rowe and Hancock linked up down the right side. Starting goalie Alyssa Gillmore needed just a few saves to keep Fort Collins at bay.
Playing on their home field on a deceptively sunny day, the Chargers broke the scoreless deadlock in the 33rd minute off a corner kick. Rowe sent the ball in from the right side and McGrath jumped up in traffic and headed the ball back across to the far post for the goal.
McGrath nearly scored again when she got a piece of Rowe’s cross three minutes into the second half. Sarah Schmeda, Hancock and Geneva Gray also put together a nice string of passes to put the Lambkins under pressure.
Then Rowe got hit, dusted herself off and made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute.
“We had a slow start, but we had a good talk at halftime,” Rowe said. “I think we really relaxed.”
Shianna Falk got a yellow card one minute before Hancock made it 3-0 after spinning loose from a defender and slotting the ball home into the right side of the net.
Ten minutes later it was 4-0 when Mangold had an easy finish off a great cross by McGrath, and Kurtenbach’s header went off the ground and in the 89th minute.