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Motivated Cougars blitz Rebels in nonleague tilt

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By Brian Forbes

EVERGREEN — While soccer will always be a game between two teams, Evergreen’s 4-1 cross-classification victory over Columbine on Sept. 12 does have a third side.

Blame it all on the Alameda Pirates.

See, the Pirates pulled off a surprising 1-0 victory over Evergreen on Sept. 10 and that got the Cougars’ attention and anger. Columbine coach Brian Todd noticed the score and couldn’t help but start thinking the game was there for the taking.

“Evergreen came out to play,” Todd said. “They are the best team we’ve played all year. I looked at their record before and they were like (1-3-1).”

Playing a rare home game at home, the Cougars were rampant in their attack. Evergreen (2-3-1) ran Columbine ragged and put the visitors under sustained pressure on both flanks and in the middle.

The Cougars scored early behind Chris Roggow before the Rebels (4-2) equalized in the 30th minute on a smart finish by freshman Matt Marchena.

But Roggow bagged the game-winner eight minutes into the second half and Nat Prouty and Nick Shipley would both score in the final 13 minutes to delight a large – and largely frozen – neighborhood crowd.

Of course, the biggest motivators were probably those Pirates.

“I think we came in with big heads,” Shipley said of Evergreen’s loss to Alameda. “We didn’t take it serious. We saw our mistakes in that game and practiced them ee and picked it up today.”

The Cougars enjoyed a nice size advantage over the majority of the Rebels, but they also appeared to be faster than the visitors. Evergreen played very direct, but seemed to beat the Rebels to every dangerous ball and into every open space.

“This game, we got a lot of communication from the defense, who were seeing the field,” Cougars coach Adrian Ferreira said. “They were able to tell the guys where to play the ball, when to put it in the corner, when to go up the middle, when to pull it out because we had no chance to turn and shoot.”

Evergreen’s pressure and creativity didn’t yield a second goal in the first half and it was Columbine that would surprisingly score 10 minutes before halftime. It was a quick counterattack and Marchena was cutting diagonally to his left and chipped the ball back over the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.

But only for about 18 minutes.

Roggow poached his second goal as the Rebels failed to clear the ball and the junior forward pounded it home.

Columbine generated no real scoring opportunities in the second half as the Cougars surged forward in numbers. Prouty scored in the 67th when he redirected Shipley’s shot to the far post.

“It was a shot, but I hit the top of it and it spun out one way,” Shipley said. “It was lucky.”

Shipley got a little extra help for his goal two minutes later when his driving shot took a small deflection off a defender and splashed into the net.