Glenwood Springs, Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork girls soccer into state playoffs
If the Glenwood Springs Demons girls soccer team wants to make a deep run in the 4A state playoffs for the second straight year, they’ll need to take the road less traveled.
One year after earning the No. 6 seed in the 4A state playoff bracket, the Demons were awarded the No. 23 seed this spring, as the 4A girls’ soccer state playoff bracket was released Monday morning.
Despite going 10-4-1, finishing second in the 4A Western Slope League behind No. 9 Battle Mountain, and dropping games to Battle Mountain, No. 3 (in 5A) Fruita Monument, No. 19 Steamboat Springs, and No. 27 Montrose, the Demons were victims of the faulty RPI rankings, slotting them in at No. 23.
After hosting three playoff games last season on their run to the 4A state semifinals at Legacy Stadium at Cherry Creek High School, the Demons will now have to become road warriors as they open the 4A state playoffs Wednesday afternoon at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument, a three-hour, seven-minute trip to face off with the No. 10 Bears at Don Breese Stadium.
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Palmer Ridge finished the regular season second in the 5A/4A Pikes Peak League standings behind Air Academy. The Bears come into the first-round matchup scoring 3.6 goals per game while allowing an average of 0.679. Palmer Ridge is led offensively by junior Sarah Miller’s 14 goals.
Glenwood Springs averages 4.1 goals per game and gives up an average of 0.600 goals per game. Sophomore Tatum Lily and freshman Ella Johnson, who scored 12 and 10 goals, respectively, in the regular season, lead the Demons offensively.
COAL RIDGE TITANS
After a one-year hiatus from the 3A girls’ soccer state playoffs, the Coal Ridge Titans return to the familiar landscape of the state playoffs under head coach Damon Martinez.
It was an up and down year in a ridiculously difficult 3A Western Slope League, but the Titans did just enough with a veteran group, earning the No. 25 seed in the state playoffs.
The Titans draw No. 8 Eagle Ridge Academy in the first round, which will be played at a neutral site.
The Warriors went 14-1-0 in the regular season, including a perfect 7-0 in the 3A Confluence League. Eagle Ridge is led by star freshman Lorelai Flores, who netted an incredible 32 goals on the year and added 20 assists, good for a league-high 84 points.
As a team, Eagle Ridge scored 103 goals on the year (6.9 goals per game), while Coal Ridge allowed just 1.8 goals per game.
“Eagle is a program that I’ve checked out a bit, and they’ve seemed to slowly improve year by year,” said Damon Martinez, Coal Ridge’s head coach. “They’re definitely an up-and-coming program.”
Despite the gaudy stats the Warriors put up, Martinez feels good about the matchup with Eagle Ridge, largely due to the experience and work ethic the Titans possess.
“I’m pretty pleased with the matchup,” said Martinez. “I think our league is just so tough, so it really prepared us for the post-season. Our group is a great group; the girls just work so incredibly hard, and that’s meant a lot to me.
“Missing the playoffs last year really hurt, so to get back in this year with this group is special.”
The Titans take on the Warriors Wednesday afternoon in Brighton at Fort Lupton High School.
ROARING FORK RAMS
Fresh off of a second-place finish in the tough 3A Western Slope League, the Roaring Fork Rams girls soccer team enters the 3A state playoffs as the No. 19 seed. The Rams, who finished the regular season 8-7 (5-2 3A in WSL) take on the No. 14 DSST: Stapleton Knights (12-3, 9-1 in 3A Frontier League).
The Rams are an interesting story this year. Despite the second-place finish, numbers are down with the Rams, who have just 17 players total between varsity and junior varsity, meaning a number of the players are double rostering. Despite the lack of numbers, the Rams have topped Delta, Coal Ridge and Vail Mountain.
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup, the Knights ride in scoring 6.1 goals scored per game and 0.912 goals allowed per game, while the Rams are 2.3 goals for and 3.0 goals against.
Sophomores Letey Crownhart and Izzy Knaus led the Rams with seven goals each, while junior Natalie Smink and her 33 goals leads DSST: Stapleton.
CRMS GIRLS SOCCER
The Colorado Rocky Mountain Oysters girls soccer team capped off a terrific regular season by earning a No. 7 seed in the 2A state playoffs. The Oysters host No. 10 Del Norte.
CRMS finished the regular season with an 8-2 record, finishing undefeated in league play. The Oysters are ranked No. 3 in the state and beat two 3A playoff teams in Coal Ridge and Delta during the regular season.
The Oysters host the Tigers Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the first-round matchup.
ROARING FORK GIRLS LACROSSE
At the conclusion of its first season at the varsity level, the Roaring Fork Rams girls lacrosse team, under the guidance of head coach Jason Rusby, is heading to the 4A girls lacrosse state playoffs.
The Rams, entering the playoffs as the No. 16 seed, will host No. 17 Conifer Tuesday evening at Carbondale Middle School in the first-round matchup at 5 p.m.
At one point in the year, the Rams were ranked No. 1 in the state in the RPI standings. Roaring Fork finished its first season at the varsity level with a 10-3 record.
Roaring Fork’s lacrosse program is unique in the state playoffs as it is a self-funded program, whereas others schools received funding from that athletic budget.
The Rams are made up of girls from Roaring Fork High School, Basalt High School and Glenwood Springs High School.
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