This Tuesday on a cold, rainy night the varsity girls’ soccer team kicked off their 2017 CHSAA 4A state playoff run. The girls were seeded 19th in the tournament after a season that had both its highs and lows, leaving them with a 7 and 8 record and, more importantly, a playoff bid. Their first test featured a clash with the 14th ranked Holy Family Tigers in Broomfield. Playing this season in Colorado’s toughest league, 4A Jeffco, the girls were no doubt battle tested and prepared.
The game kicked off on-time, at 6 p.m., despite the inclimate weather and slippery field conditions. Holy Family struck first in the first fifteen minutes with a high lofty chip shot from about twenty yards out that barely floated over Jensen’s head into the bottom corner of the net. The goal was caused somewhat by the field’s poor conditions and also complete luck. The Lions seemed unphased by Holy Family’s early strike, and junior Sarah Grey answered with a goal of her own off a corner kick towards the end of the first half. The first half ended deadlocked at 1 and it was all Lions after that. Nobody knows exactly what Coach Banfield said to them during the break, but the team came out with a sense of vengeance in their eyes and a swagger in their step. They jumped all over the rattled Holy Family team, scoring on four separate occasions. Junior Anna Newby knocked in two goals while sophomore Erin Malloy and junior Katie Puchino each knocked in one. The Lions’ athleticism seemed to slowly overpower the young Tigers and the usual beautiful passes and set ups from captains, Carlisle Maney and Sarah Payson, helped assist the goals. Defensively, Jensen and staff played a solid game, limiting the Tigers to few scoring chances in the second half, headed by a standout performance from senior Maddie Fuchs. Freshman defender Susie Puchino made a statement of her own at the end of the second half, kicking an absolute beam that echoed off the vulnerable face of Maney, and clearly demonstrated the fire in the Lions. Holy Family crumpled as the game wore on suffering from the aggressive Lions’ play and harsh weather. The Lions were ecstatic at the sound of the final whistle as they had just secured a date with third ranked Lewis-Palmer this Saturday in the sweet sixteen.
The girls’ and schools’s spirits are high entering Saturday’s showdown. Over the next few days at practice, the team will go relatively light, making sure they fully recover, and intensely gameplan for Lewis-Palmer. They love the support from the fans, and hope to see everyone there Saturday at 11 a.m. at Lewis-Palmer. GO LIONS!