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High-scoring Demons answer alarm

Dale Strode, sports editor
Jim Noelker photoDemons Chelsea Strautman and Brittney Rippy (9) celebrate a goal in Saturday's win over Skyline.
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The alarm rang and forty-five seconds later, the Demons were wide awake.

After Skyline scored on the first possession of Saturday’s 4A Regional soccer playoff match in Glenwood Springs, the Demons didn’t roll over and hit the snooze button.

No. Instead they bolted to life and scored the tying goal less than a minute later – on their first possession of the match.

The high-scoring Glenwood Springs girls then scored two more goals in a 40-second span midway through the first half, finishing with a 6-1 win over visiting Skyline High School from Longmont.

The Demons, 12-2-1, advance to the 4A State Soccer Tournament and the Sweet 16 of Colorado prep soccer.

“I figured we had plenty of time,” Glenwood Springs coach Steve White said of the first-minute goal scored by the Falcons.

“We were flat-footed; we weren’t prepared (for the opening whistle),” White said.

But White said the Demons responded and then addressed Skyline’s style.

“It was good to play them,” White said. “They overloaded the strong side of the field and it made us figure out how to get the ball out of pressure.”

“We had to play well in that first half to get that under control,” White said of his team, the most prolific scoring team ever at Glenwood Springs High School.

In the second half, the Demons increased their offensive pressure – launching shots with statistical regularity.

“They were a little fatigued,” White added. “The altitude may have affected them,” he added of the match’s physical toll.

Leading 3-1, the Demons scored three more times in the final 16 minutes.

Junior Chelsea Strautman scored the fifth and sixth goals for the Demons. And she assisted sophomore Brittney Rippy on the all-important fourth goal.

Jacque Romero assisted on one of Strautman’s second-half goals.

Glenwood Springs senior Ashley Holtum scored the first goal for the Demons.

Lindsay Holden had startled the Demons with a goal on Skyline’s first shot of the match.

But Holtum, taking a ball from senior Rebecca Lundin, scored to even the match 1-1.

From there the Demon defense, and goalkeeper Keegan Nadon (a sophomore) held the Falcons scoreless.

Lundin, taking a pass from Cassie Carlson, gave the Demons the first lead of the match with 18:04 to play in the opening half.

Then at 17:45, Lundin scored again, taking a crossing pass from Brieanne Rippy that pulled the Skyline keeper out of the goal mouth.

The Demons finished with six goals and 20 shots on goal (including 12 in the second half). Three times the Demons hit posts and were denied; twice they hit the crossbar and were denied.

Skyline, with five shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes, managed only one shot on goal in the second half.

White credited the Demon defenders and midfielders with solid play against the Falcons. Carlson pushed the Demon offense out the midfield, after Heidi Wild and her defensive cohorts anchored the back line.

“It’s really nice to have the home field. It’s a huge advantage in this first round … the Regional round,” the Glenwood Springs coach said, recalling the situation one year ago when the Demons lost on the road to open the playoffs.

“We saw that last year, when the home field advantage (went) to our opponent.

“Hopefully we’ll get to play at home again,” he added, looking ahead to Sunday’s seeding meeting where the final 16 teams will be bracketed.

If Glenwood Springs is ranked among the top eight teams in the statewide soccer coaches’ poll, the Demons will play at home next weekend in the state quarterfinals.

If not, the Demons will travel.

The Demons also remain the only Western Slope League team alive in the 4A state playoffs.

Steamboat Springs was ousted by Legacy High School of Broomfield 3-1 Saturday afternoon in Steamboat.

And Rifle also lost on Saturday. But the Bears nearly pulled a big upset, playing powerhouse Lewis-Palmer in a close match Saturday.

Homestanding Lewis-Palmer, with a second-half goal, finally won 1-0 to reach the Sweet 16.


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