ARVADA — It took awhile, but Arvada West’s girls soccer team captured a huge victory Monday, May 17, at the North Area Athletic Complex. Despite a pair of lightning delays that pushed back the …
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ARVADA — It took awhile, but Arvada West’s girls soccer team captured a huge victory Monday, May 17, at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Despite a pair of lightning delays that pushed back the original start time of 5 p.m. by more than two and a half hours, the Wildcats pushed through to grab a 2-1 victory over their rival.
“We had a wait for so long. It was a mental challenge. We pushed through it,” A-West junior Ashlyn Craig said after the game ended a little after 9 p.m. “We haven’t beat RV for a couple of years. The energy was really high.”
The last time A-West took a league victory over Ralston Valley was back during the 2016 season.
“They are all buddies and it’s a fun rivalry game,” A-West coach Troy Gette said.
Ralston Valley opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a goal by junior Kyla Rosenquist. The junior forward was able to knock in the goal after some good work in deep by Ralston Valley junior Saya Sabus.
“The girls kind of had it in their minds to keep on working hard no matter what,” Gette said of the Wildcats falling behind early. “Being as young as they are that is what they know. They work hard and let the game come to them.”
A-West answered in the 15th minute. A direct free kick wasn’t handled cleanly by Ralston Valley senior goalie Lilly VanAlsburg. Wildcat sophomore Aubrey Pixler buried the ball into the back of the net despite a ton of traffic in front.
Coming out of halftime A-West quickly took its first lead of the game. A direct free kick by Craig missed a number of bodies in front of the net before snaking into the goal. The score in the 46th minute ended up being the game-winning goal.
“I was hoping for the deflection,” Craig said on her game-winning goal. “I tried to place it for the far corner where the keeper sometimes can see it. There was a jumble in the front and it rolled right in.”
Gette has instructed Craig to fire a hard low shot toward the far post on the second set piece that yielded a goal for A-West (4-0 record, 4-0 in Class 5A Jeffco League).
“She (Craig) couldn’t have hit it better,” Gette said of the lone goal in the second half. “On set pieces like that you want to keep it playable. She did that and it worked out for us.”
Ralston Valley (2-3, 2-2) put some good pressure on A-West junior goalie Veronica Vessa in the final 10 minutes of the game, but the Wildcats were able to preserve the 1-goal victory.
“Shout out to V (Vessa). She had some great saves,” Craig said.
Gette said the majority of his young team is seeing its first varsity action this season. He knows the very talented Valor Christian (4-0, 4-0) squad will be tough to knock off this season, but he knows the future is bright for the Wildcats.
“If this isn’t our year we are definitely building for something special in the future,” Gette said.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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