Speedy ‘Cats

Fruita's team speed too much for Central to contain

Fruita Monument’s Tony Vasquez controls a pass in the corner Tuesday night before sending the ball toward the goal on a cross in the Wildcats’ 5-0 victory over Central at Walker Field.

Most of the Fruita Monument boys soccer team spent the entire game against Central slowly working the ball sideline to sideline.

Out of place Tuesday night was Wildcats’ left wing Kyle Breeden, who spent his time on Walker Field looking like a pinball.

Breeden dominated half of the field, ranging from his left back position to directly in front of the net.

Roughly 10 minutes into the first half, Breeden’s teammates rewarded his efforts with a defensive clearance that squirted free, giving Breeden a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and the second Fruita goal in a 5-0 win.

“Kyle has that ability to go with the pace and just all of a sudden turn it to that next gear and he’s gone,” Fruita Monument coach Dan McKee said. “He did that twice on goals for us tonight and really was just pushing the pace for us the whole night.”

After Wesley Padgett buried a solo breakaway less than five minutes into the game, Breeden dribbled the ball up the left wing and made a hard cut to the middle of the field before whipping a shot into the top-right corner.

“We were able to keep possession and take possession down the field,” Breeden said. “That tired them out in the first half, and it allowed us to find our lanes in the second half. We did what we do best: find each other and finish.”

Early in the second half, Breeden didn’t need any help. In what McKee described as “pretty typical of Kyle,” Breeden found the ball in front of the net, dribbled in a tight square, then chipped a top-spin shot into the left side of the net.

Noah Nelson added Fruita’s fourth goal midway through the second half, and Padgett scored a low goal during stoppage time.

With 10 minutes left in the second half, Central had its best chance at a goal. Matt Miller backpedaled into a gap in the defense and ripped a shot from the top of the penalty box, only to have it bang off the crossbar.

Central was outmatched by Fruita Monument’s team speed and control, but Warriors coach Doug Beach said his team is improving each game, even though they were exhausted after the Fruita game.

“Fruita is a great team, and they have great speed and move the ball well,” Beach said. “We had to make a few adjustments in the second half, and we played well, but there at the end, we did run out of gas.

“We’re just waiting to get healthy. Our defense has gotten more cohesive as the season has gone on. Our game plan is coming together, and we’re working hard.”

Fruita outshot Central 16-1, and the Wildcats spent most of the game in their middle and attacking thirds.

McKee said heading into the weekend, Fruita awaits the return of Andre Bryceland. Bryceland suffered a Grade 1 lateral collateral ligament tear one week ago against Grand Junction, but he could return only two weeks after the injury. Bryceland plays opposite Breeden and is another player who serves assists to Padgett in the box.

“We’re hoping he’ll be back this weekend,” McKee said. “Even though he was only out for a couple weeks, we know it’s been hard on him as a senior and one of the leaders on this team.”


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