PREP SOCCER

Rampart Rams senior Liam Milton (13) celebrates his goal with senior Oboyo Kuot (9) and junior Domyniko Jordan (15) in the second half against the Lewis-Palmer Rangers. The Rams defeated the Rangers 7-0 in boys' soccer on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at Don Breese Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing, Special to The Gazette

MONUMENT - Liam Milton and Oboyo Kuot had a feeling there would be time for celebration Tuesday.

While preparing for their match against Lewis-Palmer at Don Breese Stadium, the Rampart boys’ soccer seniors settled on a celebration.

They decided to keep it simple, planning to turn toward the other and flex after one of the two scored.

“We were talking about a celebration if we scored,” Milton said. “We decided on that.”

It’s good they kept it basic after Milton notched a hat trick and Kuot added two goals in Rampart’s 7-0 victory.

“I felt we moved the ball well,” said Karl Anderson, coach of the 4-0 Rams. “L-P is a good group, they’re very well coached, they’re very well structured. It’s one of those things, we just needed to move the ball around and be patient. I felt we did that for the most part.”

They did so early.

In the sixth minute, Milton ran onto a ball from the right side and took a shot with his first touch that beat the Lewis-Palmer keeper. Four minutes later, the senior midfielder settled and tallied his second goal with a left-footed shot.

“He was in the right space at the right time. He’s very good technically and skilled,” Anderson said.

“Liam played great.”

Soon after Milton’s second, a Lewis-Palmer defender was sent off for kicking at an opponent after the whistle.

Kuot gave the Rams a 3-0 lead at half time when he chipped the keeper midway through the first half.

The duo really started having fun in the final 40 minutes.

After Simegn Collins made it 4-0 early in the second, Kuot set up Milton’s first career hat trick, blindly playing the ball into Milton’s path before the midfielder beat the keeper to the near post.

“That was fun,” Kuot said. “I’m always looking for him; he’s always looking for me. I mean, we play as a team, but I think we just have a little more of a connection.”

A couple of minutes later, Milton played a through ball to Kuot, whose well-timed run put him one-on-one with the Ranger keeper. The Ethopian calmly finished for his seventh goal through four games.

"I think it’s his tenacity and his desire to work,” Milton answered when asked what makes the Rams’ striker special. “He’s always making runs; he’s always showing for the ball, and he’s a team player.”

Vito Villa, another of the 18 seniors on the Rampart roster, scored the final goal with 10 minutes to play. With a bunch of depth returning from last year’s team that lost just three times and qualified for state, the Rams are eyeing a deeper run this year.

“We have a good shot,” Anderson said. “These guys, most of them have been playing together for a good three years.”

Milton and Kuot are key pieces of that core. While they hope to be celebrating later in the season, Rampart showcased its attacking strength Tuesday, as planned.

“I knew he was going to score, and I knew I was going to score,” Kuot said.