It was a night of record-setting proportion at Gillette Stadium as the New England Revolution rolled to a 6-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids.
The Revolution scored a club record four goals in the first half en route to another club record in the six-goal outburst. The stingy Colorado defense, which had only allowed two goals in its previous five matches, was shredded by two goal efforts from Pat Noonan, Steve Ralston, and Taylor Twellman.
Revolution head coach Steve Nicol was understandably delighted with his side's performance.
"I think we took our chances tonight, and that was the major difference in the game," said Nicol. "We managed to put the ball in the net. Scoring helps the team immeasurably."
Nicol sounded a note of caution, as the Revolution are still two points behind Chicago for the final playoff spot. A trip to Soldier Field looms for New England next weekend.
"We're delighted," said Nicol. "It's a great win for us. We have to follow [it] up next week."
A virtuoso performance from right back Steve Ralston aided the efforts. Ralston, who was slated to start at right midfield on Friday, but was forced to move to right back after Steve Howey strained his quad at practice, tallied twice and added two helpers while covering the entire right flank.
"I thought he was excellent," said Nicol. "I don't want to pull him out of the team. We don't do that when we lose, and we shouldn't do it when we win either. He played well, but so did quite a few others."
Ralston said that the Revolution fought back from early adversity in order to capture the points. Jean-Philippe Peguero had put the Rapids in front in the 17th minute, and he spurned chances to extend the lead before Ralston's first strike in the 26th minute.
"We put our heads down, but we fought back," said Ralston. "We knew we were in a good position."
Revolution forward Pat Noonan credited the defensive pressure and effort, noting that a similar effort will bring the same effects in the future.
"If we put pressure on teams for 90 minutes, we can get results like that every week," said Noonan.
Certainly, the mood wasn't as bright in the Rapids locker room.
"It's better to have your butt kicked before the end of the season so that there is a fresh reminder of what a night like tonight feels like. Right now it's clearly not a good feeling," Rapids coach Tim Hankinson said. "But our boys will take a great deal of reflection on this and we'll prepare ourselves better to defend and take care of the ball in our half and then create more chances for ourselves."
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.