LONGMONT — Ginny Maddox has always been receptive to change.
When the Niwot High School soccer team needed her at forward as a sophomore, Maddox complied. Her junior year, when she was asked to play outside midfield, she gladly stepped up to the challenge.
This season, her final with the Cougars, she was once again reassigned. Niwot needed her to play defense, and she took the job without so much as a complaint.
“They keep moving me back,” Maddox smiled after the Cougars’ 2-0 win over crosstown rival Longmont on Tuesday at Everly-Montgomery Field. “If I could come back next year, I’d probably play goalie.”
Moving Maddox to defense was made partly out of necessity, but also for a desire to try a new formation. The Cougars, bitten hard by injuries, switched to a 4-3-3 alignment this season, which eliminated the need for an outside midfielder.
“I like this,” explained Maddox, who will play at Fort Lewis next season. “I get to play defense and attack out of the back.”
Maddox played her new role to perfection in the early stages of Tuesday’s game.
In the eighth minute, she took the ball down the field and sent a cross over to senior forward Kelly Creighton, who lasered the ball past Longmont goalie Noelle
Arnaud. The Cougars (5-2, 2-0 Northern Conference) would tack an insurance goal on in the 76th minute when Niwot sophomore Amie Martella finished a beautiful pass from sophomore Jenna Hayes.
After the game, though, it was hard to tell Niwot had won. Heads were staring down at the turf as Niwot coach Jeremy Pinard addressed his team at length following the contest.
“It’s a win, and I’m happy with it, but I really thought Longmont outplayed us,” Pinard said.
The Trojans shared Pinard’s assessment.
“Yep, I agree with that,” Longmont coach Megan Beasley said.
This was the first time in three years a game between Longmont and Niwot didn’t end in a tie. The two teams played to 0-0 and 1-1 draws the past two seasons.
“We really wanted to win this game,” Creighton said. “But our intensity seemed down. We know we can play better.”
Longmont (5-3-1, 1-1-1) left the field feeling the same way. Beasley told them as much after the game. The Trojans had their chances, dominating the midfield most of the game, but couldn’t string together an offensive attack. Longmont had only two shots on goal.
“Even the best teams in the world lose,” Beasley said.
“Look at Manchester United. They spend millions of dollars and still occasionally lose.
“It’s how you respond to a loss that defines what kind of team you are.
“Do you learn from it and use it as a stepping stone? If I know this team at all, they’ll definitely use it as motivation.”