Pearson, Demons bound for the second round
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Savanna Pearson just happened to be in the right place at the right time Tuesday night.
The senior midfielder scored both goals for the Glenwood Springs High School girls soccer team against a Frederick goalkeeper bound for a Division I university, leaving the Demons bound for the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs with a 2-1 victory at Stubler Memorial Field.
“We’re pretty high on life right now,” Pearson said with a wry smile.
Of course, the Demons (13-1-2 overall) are a win away from being pretty far in the state playoffs. Glenwood, the state tournament’s No. 12 seed, will play a second-round game Friday at No. 5 Air Academy, a 7-0 winner over Skyline on Tuesday. A game time has yet to be determined.
For a time, Glenwood’s victory looked like it had already been determined through the game’s first 65 minutes. The Demons outshot the Warriors (9-4-3) 29-4 for the game – holding a 17-3 shots-on-goal advantage – and held Frederick without a legitimate scoring chance until the final minutes of the match.
Frederick goalkeeper Alex Godinez, the Warriors’ senior captain who recorded nine of her 17 saves in the first half, has already earned a full-ride scholarship to DePaul University in Chicago. She also scored the Warriors’ only goal of the game in the 73rd minute to bring Frederick within a goal, but the Demons’ early offensive pressure was too much to overcome.
“We knew we had to keep the pressure on and not force things,” Glenwood coach Steve White said. “That’s an incredible keeper they have over there, and we knew we would break through eventually.”
Frederick, which based its success this season on its defense, was back on its proverbial heels through the first 60 minutes. Godinez’s goal, however, gave the Warriors the offensive spark they needed to stay in the game until the end.
“We weren’t the best team tonight,” Frederick coach Chad Eisentranger said. “The effort we put in for the last 15 minutes is the kind of effort you want to see for 80 minutes. Glenwood was able to take advantage of that, and my girls weren’t ready to play tonight.”
Godinez seemed ready for every Glenwood shot through the first 30 minutes, but Pearson put the Demons up for good on an opportunistic bounce. Glenwood striker Lilly McSwain’s shot from the left side of the net was deflected 15 yards in front of the net. It was deflected right to Pearson, though, who pounded it into the lower-right corner of the net in the 38th minute.
“We were just ready to play our hardest game, and we had to have a lot of perseverance,” Pearson said. “Our thing was just to try and try and try until we got it.”
Pearson got another try – and goal – in the 64th minute off a hard crossing pass from the right side of the goal box from Jackie Knott. Her pass floated to the far end of the goal to Pearson, whose header crossed the goal line over Godinez’s outstretched arms for a two-goal Glenwood lead.
The Warriors, however, finally broke through less than 10 minutes later.
Godinez – playing out of the goal box – took a free kick from near the midfield stripe but got a second opportunity at the try when Glenwood’s Corey Gera was yellow-carded for coming too close to Godinez on the kick. The ball was moved to the spot of the foul, and Godinez subsequently scored off her next free kick try from 45 yards away.
“I keep telling people she’s the best goalkeeper in Colorado, and no one ever believes me,” Eisentranger said.
Glenwood, however, held the Warriors to just one shot on goal the rest of the way, keeping possession of the ball for many of the final nine minutes.
“This feels amazing,” Pearson said. “The kind of effort we put in was a total team effort, and we all came together at the right place at the right time.”
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