Soccer win is birthday bonus

Avery Wise is captain of Legend soccer team


Avery Wise turned 18 years old on May 5 and the Legend High School soccer captain found a cherished way to celebrate her birthday.

Wise scored her first goal of the season on a free kick in the 75th minute to give Legend a 1-0 victory over Mountain Vista in the final regular season game for both games on the Legend Titans’ blue-turf field.

The senior stepped forward from 30 yards away with a line of four Mountain Vista players forming a wall 10 yards in front of her. She booted the ball low, past the wall and toward the corner of the goal.

“I just tried to keep it low and it went in,” said Wise, who noted it was a big win for a Legend program that has produced a 52-73-10 record over the previous 10 seasons.

“Initially she was looking to drive it in there and beat the wall,” said Legend coach Mazen Kayali when asked about Wise’s goal. “It was a nice driven ball into the corner. She did a nice job.”

Mountain Vista coach Theresa Echtermeyer felt the same.

“It was a well placed shot,” said Echtermeyer. “It was a good goal on their part.”

Legend players sang “Happy Birthday” to Wise after the game.

It was Legend’s first victory over Vista in 11 games between the schools and the win boosted the Titans’ overall record to 13-2-0. Mountain Vista is 10-4-1.

The teams tied for second place in the Continental League with 8-2 records behind league champion Rock Canyon.

The Legend-Mountain Vista game served as a warmup for the Colorado state soccer playoffs. Pairings were posted May 8 and first-round Class 5A games were scheduled for May 10.

Semifinal games for 5A are set for May 19 at the University of Denver and the state championship game will be at 8 p.m. on May 25 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“Coming into this game (against Mountain Vista) we knew were in the playoffs,” said Kayali. “We were just going for positioning. Mountain Vista is a good school that has a good tradition with a lot of winning. We knew coming in we had a team that could compete with them.

“I knew coming into the season we had a group of girls that are very good. I knew we had the talent, we just had to put it together and play for each other.”

Mountain Vista is a perennial state power in girls soccer and has won three state championships.

“We’ll be ready for the playoffs,” said Echtermeyer. “We’ve been in every single game we’ve played. That’s how soccer is, sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.

“The girls will be ready for the playoffs. We’re excited to see who we draw in the first round. Every game is a new game. You have to play hard.”


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