At this level, it's the little things that make a big difference.
Rampart's boys soccer team learned that the hard way in a 2-1 nonconference loss to Rangeview of Aurora on Saturday afternoon at the D-20 Stadium. During two crucial defensive sequences, the Rams didn't successfully clear out the ball and the Raiders strikers took advantage of those moments with scores.
"Two goals off of two mistakes, that's the name of the game," Rampart coach Karl Anderson said.
The Rams suffered their second loss in six games and dropped to 7-4 overall, while the visiting Raiders improved to 6-2-1.
On Saturday, it looked like Rampart was destined to continue a scoring spree. Against Palmer last week, the Rams exploded for 10 goals in a shutout win.
Against Rangeview, Jack McReynolds got things going for the Rams. In the 33rd minute, Dillion O'Neal sent a cross near the goal that was knocked down by the Raiders' defense. But McReynolds got in front of the ball and sent it to the back of the net from about 15 yards.
"It was a wonderful finish," Anderson said.
But Rangeview, which hasn't lost since Aug. 29 against Denver East, had a quick response.
Three minutes later, Raiders senior midfielder Juan Chavez got the ball from the Rampart defense and scored from about 15 yards out to tie it up at 1-1. Rangeview took the lead for good in the 45th minute, thanks to sophomore forward Rashid Seidu-Aroza's unassisted goal.
Rampart tried to come back, but the Rams' best shot came from Simagen Collins' sliding kick that hit the left goal post in the 65th minute. They kept attacking and attacking but ultimately couldn't tie up the score.
In the end, the Rampart coach said he believes it could've been a different game if his players focused on the little things.
"We need to clean up those small mistakes, like getting our headers up and out instead of giving them another opportunity," Anderson said. "We need to clean up our passes and make sure we're aware of where we're at."