State Soccer Playoffs: Glenwood girls soccer stuns Palmer Ridge in double OT; Roaring Fork upsets DSST: Stapleton in 3A first round
Playing in blizzard-like conditions Wednesday evening at Lewis Palmer High School in the first round of the 4A state soccer playoffs, the No. 23 Glenwood Springs Demons girls soccer team played spoiler as senior Sarah Helm’s 20-yard free kick found the back of the net in double overtime, giving the underdog Demons a thrilling 3-2 upset win over No. 10 Palmer Ridge.
One year after reaching the 4A state semifinals as the No. 6 seed, the Demons entered the state playoffs near the bottom of the bracket, but proved Wednesday evening that they’re as formidable as last season in the upset win.
Right away in the first half the Demons had to face some adversity as sophomore starting goalkeeper Abby Scruton missed the first half with an injury, forcing freshman backup Paige Rightmire into the net for the first half in poor conditions. Fortunately for Glenwood, the stout Demon defense shut down Palmer Ridge in the first half, forcing Rightmire to make just one save as the freshman put up a clean sheet in the first half.
Offensively for the Demons in the first half, Glenwood mounted a number of chances, leading to a corner kick at the 22:25 mark of the first half. On the corner, freshman Ella Johnson fired the cross into traffic where senior Levyn Thomas settled the ball and fired a shot inside the right post, giving the Demons a pivotal 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
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Just under three minutes later, sophomore Tatum Lily made it 2-0 Glenwood, popping a shot from 18 yards out over the Palmer Ridge goalkeeper for the tally. Lily’s goal held up heading into the half as Glenwood held a 2-0 lead on the road.
Coming out in the second half, Scruton made her return to the net facing a mix of high winds, rain and light snow.
Playing with the bad weather to their backs, the Bears struck at the 61:21 mark on a ball over the top. Palmer Ridge’s attacker appeared to be offsides, but play resumed and the Bears scored to make it a 2-1 game.
Then, at the 69:09 mark, the Bears took advance of the high winds behind them as a Palmer Ridge defender fired a high, arcing shot from 50 yards out that kept carrying towards the Glenwood goal and into the back of the net over Scruton’s hand, knotting the game at 2-2.
That score held up in to overtime, where Scruton stood tall, making a number of saves to force a second overtime.
In the second overtime, at the 100:33 mark, Lily drew a penalty just outside of the box, setting up Helm’s heroic strike.
The senior stepped up to the ball at the 20-yard mark and fired a perfect shot into the upper left corner of the net, giving the Demons the upset win and setting off a celebration on the field for the Demons.
With the win, Glenwood advances to the second round, where the No. 23 Demons will travel to Colorado Springs Saturday to take on No. 7 Sand Creek, which topped No. 26 Canon City 10-0 Wednesday night.
No. 19 Roaring Fork 3, No. 14 DSST: Stapleton 1
Taking on the No. 14 DSST: Stapleton Knights Wednesday afternoon in a 3A first-round matchup, the veteran No. 19 Roaring Fork Rams girls soccer team rolled to an impressive 3-1 win, playing some its best soccer of the season, according to head coach Nick Forbes.
Against the Knights, senior Lux Andrade, junior Emily Broadhurst, and senior Logan Erickson found the back of the net for the Rams, leading Roaring Fork to the first-round upset win.
“The team is really starting to gel and play with confidence,” said Forbes. “It’s a joy to watch.”
The win sets up a second-round matchup with No. 3 Jefferson Academy on Saturday in Broomfield. Jefferson Academy topped No. 30 Atlas Preparatory School 10-0 Wednesday.
No. 8 Eagle Ridge Academy 4, No. 25 Coal Ridge 3
Traveling to Brighton Wednesday night for a first-round matchup against the No. 8 Eagle Ridge Academy Warriors, the No. 25 Coal Ridge Titans took a 2-1 lead but gave up three unanswered goals before ultimately dropping a tough 4-3 decision, ending a strong season for the Titans’ girls soccer program.
In the matchup with the Warriors, Coal Ridge gave up the first goal of the game, but quickly answered back in the first half as senior Alyssa Wenzel found senior Adriana Vargas for the equalizer.
Then, Wenzel struck off of an assist from Vargas to make it 2-1 Titans before controversy reared its ugly head in the postseason.
The Titans were called for a questionable penalty in the box that set up an Eagle Ridge Academy penalty, which a Warriors player ultimately converted to knot the game up at 2-2.
That penalty seemed to completely change the game as Eagle Ridge Academy took a 3-2 lead on an own goal by the Titans before then taking a 4-2 lead on a ball that slipped through senior goalkeeper Jocy Bravo’s hands, giving the Warriors a two-goal advantage.
Coal Ridge junior Maren Hough made it a 4-3 game on a long shot from outside of the box that sparked the Titans, leading to heavy pressure from Coal Ridge late. Unfortunately, the Titans couldn’t find the equalizer, dropping the 4-3 decision to end the season.
The Titans finish the season with an 8-7-1 record, including a 5-2 mark in 3A Western Slope League action that saw them finish third in the league standings. Coal Ridge says goodbye to seven seniors: Vargas, Wenzel, Bravo, Annie Esgar, Veronica Gonzalez, Amdanda McPherson, and Aliza Lozano.
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