Sand Creek crushes Coronado in boys' soccer opener

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Photo - Coronado's Colton Carter, left, attempts to steal the ball from Sand Creek's Cayden Gilbert as the boys soccer season opener was held at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday August 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs. Sand Creek won by default 10-0 after the the mercy rule was enforced and the game ending midway through the second half. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette)
Coronado's Colton Carter, left, attempts to steal the ball from Sand Creek's Cayden Gilbert as the boys soccer season opener was held at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday August 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs. Sand Creek won by default 10-0 after the the mercy rule was enforced and the game ending midway through the second half. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette)

Mother nature was the only thing that slowed the Sand Creek boys’ soccer team in Thursday’s opener against Coronado at Garry Berry Stadium.

Lightning delayed the game by 30 minutes, but the Scorpions got the time back, ending it roughly 10 minutes into the second half on Jesse Bridge’s free kick from distance that made it 10-0.

It was the start of what Sand Creek coach Jeremy Tafoya expects to be a special season.

“I always shoot way high, but I feel like you’ve got to, so honestly a state title,” Tafoya said. “That’s honestly what we’re looking at.”

The Scorpions looked the part of a contender on an overcast afternoon.

CORONADO V SAND CREEK SOCCER
Garret Kramer of Sand Creek points to the sky after scoring a goal over Coronado for the boys soccer season opener at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday August 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs. Kramer contributed five of Sand Creek's ten goals which handed the win to Sand Creek as a result of the mercy rule. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Senior Garret Kramer opened the scoring, beating Coronado keeper Taylor Angelo to the far post on a free kick in the opening minutes. Tadesse Burdick doubled the lead with a tap-in minutes later.

Kramer headed home a corner kick from Jayden Austin and a Bridge throw in to complete a hat trick in the first 20 minutes of the game.

“He’s a beast,” said first-year Coronado coach Eddie Hurt. “He’s big; he’s strong; he’s fast. He’s a great soccer player.”

By the end of the half, Kramer tallied five goals and an assist. All of his scores came on restarts.

“We’re good on set pieces,” Kramer, a Colorado Mesa verbal commit, said.

“We practice it at the end of practice every day, practice free kicks, corners, throw-ins.”

CORONADO V SAND CREEK SOCCER
Coronado's Mariano Almanza, left, and Sand Creek's Alan Bautista fight for possession of the ball during the boys soccer season opener at Garry Berry Stadium on Thursday August 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs. Sand Creek won by default 10-0 after the the mercy rule was enforced and the game ending midway through the second half. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette) 

Alan Bautista, an exchange student from Mexico, and Leonardo Bacerra added goals that saw the Scorpions lead 8-0 at half.

Cayden Gilbert made it 9-0 seven minutes into the second half with a left-footed strike to the far post. Minutes later, Bridge ended the game from near midfield.

It capped a rough opener for the Cougars, who are retooling under a new coach.

“We’re going to be a different team at the end of the season,” Hurt said.

Sand Creek hopes this is just the start after last year's 10-5 campaign wasn't good enough to play in the postseason. That appears to be a motivator for the Scorpions in 2017.

“We were already there last year, but because of the RPI, we didn’t get to show anyone,” Tafoya said.