ARVADA — Golden’s girls soccer team stayed in the mix to qualify for the 16-team Class 4A state tournament scheduled to begin June 16. The Demons knocked off rival and previously undefeated …
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ARVADA — Golden’s girls soccer team stayed in the mix to qualify for the 16-team Class 4A state tournament scheduled to begin June 16.
The Demons knocked off rival and previously undefeated Wheat Ridge 2-0 on Wednesday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. Golden had to win to have any realistic shot at grabbing one of two automatic qualifier spots out of the highly competitive 4A Jeffco League.
“Any chance what’s so ever. We had to get this one,” Golden coach Larry Harding said of the Demons’ playoff hopes. “The ladies worked hard. They played for each other tonight.”
Golden (4-1-1, 4-1-1 in 4A Jeffco League) already had a 1-goal loss to No. 1 ranked Evergreen (7-0, 6-0) and a tie against No. 5 D’Evelyn (5-0-1, 5-0-1). A loss or tie against No. 4 Wheat Ridge (6-1, 6-1) would all but sealed the Demons fate of missing the postseason.
“There was so much pressure, especially with Wheat Ridge being our rival too,” Golden senior captain Devyn Schaefer said. “We needed this.”
Only one team that doesn’t finished in the top two of its conference this spring will be granted an at-large bid to the reduced postseason field this spring because of the shortened COVID season. It’s impossible that Evergreen, D’Evelyn, Wheat Ridge and Golden will all qualify for the state tournament.
The loss and tie early in league play could have dashed all hopes for the Demons advancing past the regular season, but that disappointment didn’t show against Wheat Ridge.
“It’s been tough because I think with those other two games (Evergreen and D’Evelyn) we could have won those too,” Golden senior Jordyn Hyland said. “This was a must-win game and we did it.”
Golden had the majority of the scoring chances in the first half, but it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that the Demons took a 1-0 lead. Junior Abby Des Cognets was able to find the back of the net when the ball came to her with a straight-on shot attempt against Wheat Ridge junior goalie Ariel Martin.
The Farmers got some great pressure in the opening minutes of the second half in an attempt to get the equalizer. Senior Jessica Brummett and sophomore Sadie Powers mouth had good scoring chances in the opening 8 minutes of the second half. However, Golden junior goalie Ella Harrison was up to the task keeping the shutout in tack.
Hyland changed the momentum with a perfected placed long kick in the 49th minute.
“Scoring that goal to start the second half totally changed the game,” Hyland said of her goal that gave the Demons a 2-0 lead. “Honestly, I didn’t think it was going in. It changed the game for the better for us.”
Wheat Ridge did continue to put pressure on the Demons, but Golden was able to get the shutout victory and stay alive for the postseason.
“From here on out we definitely want to keep on winning games,” Schaefer said. “It’s not time to let off the gas, but it’s time to slow down and focus on the things we need to fix.”
The Demons have league games against Conifer, Littleton and Green Mountain from June 1 to June 7.
The Demons must get some help to finish either first or second in the conference to grab that automatic bid.
“It is tough, but we are just hoping for the best,” Hyland said.
Wheat Ridge still in the mix despite the loss. The Farmers control their own destiny. If Wheat Ridge defeats D'Evelyn (June 7) and Evergreen (June 9) the Farmers will claim a top-2 spot in the conference and be headed to the postseason.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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