The final week-plus of the girls soccer regular season has arrived and there is no shortage of great games to check out.
A few league championships will be on the line, while other teams are simply scheduling tough matchups in order to get a playoff feel before the official start of the postseason. Below is a quick glance at 10 games across all classifications that will impact teams as they head into state tournaments.
There is also a quick look at players who have stood out in the Player of the Year race.
This non-league clash between two 5A powerhouses should get players and fans alike fired up for the 5A postseason. Grandview claimed the Centennial League title this season, while Columbine came up just short of the Jeffco title, falling to Valor Christian.
The Wolves have been methodical on offense all season as Naomi Clark
leads the team with 13 goals. No other player on the roster has more than six. Isabel Dillehay
has the team lead in assists with seven.
Columbine has been a bit more explosive, with multiple players scoring in bunches. Riley Kaali-Nagy
and Andrea Iljkic
have each scored 10 goals, while Thai Quallich
has nine. Adelyn Todd
could play a huge role in this game as she has allowed just six goals all season.Pine Creek (Colorado Springs) at Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch), May 6, 8 pm.
Something might have to give as these two teams have yet to lose this season. They will conclude their regular seasons against each other to find out just how competitive the 5A postseason will be.Ajanae Respass
has been an offensive force for Valor with a team-high 14 goals. She is also tied for second on the team with seven assists. Peyton Parsons
holds the team lead in that category with nine, and she also has eight goals to her name.
Pine Creek has not been shy about big offensive performances as a team this season. Isa Murdock
has scored 22 goals and dished out 17 assists, both of which are team bests. Ava Amsden
has 17 goals, and Sophie Redner
has 15. While guarding the net, Allyson Fischer
has allowed just three shots to get by her all season.
Player of the Year WatchAbby Ballek, Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins):
Instead of trying to become a player to watch in the future, she's been a player to deal with in the now. Her 16 goals and nine assists have made her a genuine offensive threat.Jordan Nytes, Grandview:
The Wolves have a great opportunity to claim another state title, and Nytes is a big reason why. She has a Goals Against Average of 0.160 this season in net.Kendall Rippley, Legacy (Broomfield):
The junior is one of the top overall point scorers this season. She has netted 21 goals and assisted on 10 goals.Class 5A/4AFruita Monument at Durango, May 5, 6 p.m.
A rematch from April 15 will determine the Southwestern League champion. The Wildcats got the better of the Demons 4-1 in the first showdown, but that game was in Fruita. Durango will do its best to protect home field in the rematch.
Part of that is grabbing an early lead and putting some pressure on the Wildcats. Mason Rowland
has scored 12 goals for Durango, and is seemingly good for a goal a game. If it comes early, it could go a long way in setting the tone the Demons need. Jocelyn Feir
will have to be on point in the net as well. She has surrendered only six goals all season, but four of them were to Fruita.Regan Dare
leads the Wildcats with 11 goals, but she didn't score in the first game against the Demons. Class 4A
These two Northern League teams will clash in their respective regular-season finales. They are top-five teams in 4A and will both be looking to make a deep playoff run later this month. Centaurus' only shot of claiming at least a share of a league championship is a win in this matchup.
But that could be tough. The Wizards have displayed a lot of talent through the course of the season. Sophomore Ella Moody
was on a mission early, as she netted 10 goals in eight games.
Sophomore Nyah Ringer
leads the Warriors with 15 goals and has gotten some good scoring help from Annabelle Stephan
and Kate Flaherty
, who have each scored eight goals.Palmer Ridge (Monument) at The Classical Academy (Colorado Springs), May 5, 6:30 p.m.
This non-league showdown will be crucial for both teams. The Bears are looking to establish themselves as a top team in 4A, and a game against a team like TCA, which holds that kind of tradition, will be a big measuring stick. For the Titans, this will be a game they need to get battle-tested ahead of the 4A state playoffs.Kendall Gouner
has been essential to the Bears offensive attack as she leads the team with 17 goals. Keeper Kendra Schlacter
has been every bit as vital to the team's success, allowing only just seven goals all season.
Player of the Year WatchEmily Browne, Wheat Ridge:
Browne has netted 21 goals from the midfield and has amassed 52 points this season, third best in 4A.Emma Long, Skyview (Thornton):
Long is emerged as the best offensive player in the state. Her 35 goals are best in 4A as are her 85 points.Chloe Rhodes, Northfield (Denver):
The freshman has protected the Nighthawks' goal like a seasoned veteran. She has turned away 29 shots and allowed just three goals this season.
Class 3AManitou Springs at Colorado Springs Christian, May 3, 4 p.m.
The battle for the Tri-Peaks League title will be decided in this clash between two of the top three teams in 3A. The two teams have a shared common loss as they both lost to Lutheran (Parker)
earlier in the season. They also have a shared win as both topped Denver Christian. Everything suggests this could be one of the best games of the year.
Manitou Springs has been able to put together some solid offensive performances, getting several 10-goal wins during the season. A big reason is a three-way scoring attack with Erica Sherwin
(20 goals), Madrid Mack
(14) and Cassidy Kuzbek
(13). The Mustangs had a hole at keeper at the start of the season, but freshman Nici Sharon
has settled into the position and made 50 saves.
The Lions have a more balanced scoring attack. Kami Stichter
leads the team with nine goals, while Keegan Benningfield
has eight. Five other players in the lineup have each scored five times this season.
Photo by Cynthia Betancourt
The regular season will be capped with a potential state championship game preview as Kent Denver and Jefferson Academy will battle it out, potentially for the 3A Metro League title (or at least a share of it). Kent is currently regarded as the top team in the classification, and Jefferson Academy has also been included in the conversation.
The Sun Devils don't just score goals, they also don't allow them. The team has given up just four goals all season and not more than two in a game. Their lone loss was a 1-0 game against Northfield. Maria Romo-Nichols
and Izzy Newton
have each scored a staggering 23 goals, while Kate Henry
has added 11.
The Jaguars have a few slip-ups this season, falling 2-0 to Colorado Academy and 2-1 in overtime to Vail Mountain
. But there is no mistaking that Jefferson Academy is a sound soccer team capable of making a run at a state title. Gianna Gagliano
leads the Jags with 15 goals and also has eight assists. AllieJo Kirkpatrick
adds 11 goals and a team-high nine assists.Player of the Year WatchAdjrieanne ( AJ ) Loera, The Academy (Westminster)
: Loera is one of just two players in any classification to break the 100-point mark this season. She has scored 46 goals and also has 16 assists this season.Tania Razo, DSST: Green Valley Ranch (Denver):
Razo is the other player in the state (regardless of classification) to total more than 100 points this year. She has scored a staggering 50 goals and leads every player across every class with 116 points.Claire Welch, Kent Denver (Englewood):
The Sun Devils keeper allowed just four goals in the first nine games of the season. In Kent's lone loss of the year, she allowed a single goal to Northfield.Class 3A/2ADenver Christian at Colorado Academy (Denver), May 6, 4 p.m.
Denver Christian has looked strong in the 2A field while truly testing itself against some of the top 3A teams in the state. The Thunder will get one more big test before diving into the postseason. Colorado Academy is a top-five team in 3A and should give Denver Christian a solid battle to cap the regular season.
The Thunder have three players with at least 10 goals on the season. Sydney Fitzgerald
leads the team with 12, Kaley Ruth
has scored 11 and Nerea Genc
has 10. Of the 19 goals that keeper Ashley Wind
has given up, 13 have come against teams that are expected to make deep playoff runs in both 3A and 2A.
The Mustangs have put together a solid campaign, with their three losses coming to 5A or 4A teams. They don't put up flashy scoring numbers, though. Freshman Celina Frenz
leads the team with nine goals, and sophomore Naomi Wolff
is right behind her with eight.Class 2ATelluride at Crested Butte, May 5, 4:30 p.m.
Telluride has five losses to its name, but that's because it has taken on the task of playing a good amount of teams from bigger classifications. The Miners are 5-0 in Southwest League play and could very easily come away with a league championship this week. To do that, they will have to get their second win of the season over Crested Butte.
Telluride won the first game 5-0 with freshman Lexi Gregory
earning a hat trick in that win. Ava Hagan
scored the other two goals to give Trinidad the convincing win.
Since that loss, Crested Butte has looked like a dominant team in 2A. The Titans have won their last seven games, outscoring their opponents 31-3. Maddie Bogard
leads the team with 13 goals, with Leigh Harpel
adding an additional nine.
Front Range Christian (Littleton) at Fountain Valley (Colorado Springs), May 6, 4:15 p.m.
Both of these teams will be in the mix for the 2A title when the postseason begins. The Falcons have only one loss and that was against Denver Christian, the team that many see as the team to beat in 2A. The Danes dropped games to Colorado Springs Christian and Lamar
in early April but have played outstanding soccer otherwise.
Front Range Christian has a triple-threat scoring attack that starts with junior Hailey Severson
. Her 22 goals leads the team, while Emma Budimlya
has 19 and Avery Murray
Sophomore Annie Wrubel
leads the Danes with 29 goals and no other player has more than nine. Freshman keeper Lily Christofferson
has guarded the net like a veteran, as she has turned away 42 shots.Player of the Year WatchAshley Wind, Denver Christian:
The Thunder have shown enough firepower to make a run through the 2A postseason, but Wind's work in front of the net (64 saves, six goals given up against 2A teams) might be most impressive.Annie Wrubel, Fountain Valley:
Her 29 goals are second in the classification and are also a big reason why Fountain Valley is in a situation to make a deep playoff run.Rylie Young, Clear Creek (Evergreen):
Young has been the best player in 2A in a lot of ways. She leads the classification in total points (88) and goals (39).