Demons’ postseason hopes killed
Post Independent Staff
D’Evelyn senior forward Aaron O’Brien is the leading goal scorer in Colorado Class 4A soccer.
On Wednesday night, the Demons found out why.
O’Brien, who scored 23 goals during the regular season, netted all three of the Jaguars’ goals as No. 21 D’Evelyn upset No. 13 Glenwood Springs by a 3-1 margin in the first round of the 4A boys soccer postseason.
“We knew that O’Brien was their stud player and we tried to stop him, but he is a good player,” said junior defender Pat Waller. “He is just a good player.”
The season-ending game was a heartbreaker for the Demons, who were left with teary eyes on the sideline.
“We played good soccer,” said Glenwood Springs head coach Craig Pilzga. “We were confident, we were playing hard and we kept playing hard, we just got some unlucky bounces.”
The Demons started the game strong, keeping a constant attack on the Jaguar goal. Ten minutes into the half, D’Evelyn keeper Zach Blackmon blocked a Patrick Shepard shot before back-to-back Demon shots by Jake Kaup and Abraham Saavedra ricocheted off the top post.
The Demons remained persistent and finally found the back of the net when Giovanny Anaya cleared the ball to the center of the field and Dylan Gallacher pounded it in for a 1-0 lead.
Thirty seconds later, O’Brien evened the score with a slow roller that went past Demon keeper Matt Hartman into the corner of the goal. The score remained even going into the break.
“In the first half we came out strong, we were winning 50-50 balls and we were playing hard,” Waller said. “In the second half we still played hard, it just didn’t go our way.”
The Jaguars took control of the game in the second frame, limiting Glenwood Springs to two shots on goal all half. Eleven minutes in, O’Brien tapped in another goal that looked very similar to the first ” low and on the ground.
Shepard continued to lead the Demons’ offensive pursuit, even getting a breakaway leaving him with no one left to beat but Blackmon, but it was called back due to an offside.
Then with 18 minutes remaining in the game, O’Brien put the game away when he took a direct kick from the 20-yard line. The ball flew to the right of the Demons’ defensive wall and past Hartman to make it 3-1. Blackmon had seven saves on the night, while Hartman blocked 14 shots, keeping the Demons in the game with two clutch saves in the final minutes.
D’Evelyn advances to the second round of the playoffs against No. 4 Pine Creek on or before Saturday.
Glenwood Springs’ may not have made it as far as it hoped, but the Demons were still proud of their season.
“It has been awesome,” Waller said. “I have played with these guys since sixth grade, it just sucks that it’s over.”
Seven Demons will be graduating in 2006, leaving a fairly large hole in roster, but Waller is still optimistic about the future.
“We are losing a lot of guys, a lot of good guys, but we have a solid junior class and a solid sophomore class,” Waller said.
CRMS knocked out of 3A playoffs by Kent Denver
The Colorado Rocky Mountain School boys soccer team won’t be a Cinderella team this year.
CRMS’ playoff run was halted Wednesday night, when Kent Denver beat the Oysters 3-0 in the first round of the 3A boys soccer state championships.
CRMS had a good season, the best it has had in years. After a 5-5-0 regular season, the Oysters beat St. Mary’s in a regional playoff game on Saturday and earned a 16th-place seed in the state championship bracket. Unfortunately, it put them up against top-seeded Kent Denver.
The Sun Devils put two goals on the board in the first half and CRMS was never able to come back. Luke Cunningham, Grant Kraus and Skyler Patrick all scored for Kent Denver.
Kent Denver now awaits the winner of Saturday’s Crested Butte-Fountain Valley game, who it will face in the quarter finals.
No other information was available at press time.
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