The official start of the fall season can only mean one thing – postseason play is just around the corner.
With less than one month remaining in the regular season for boys soccer, that means league play is heating up as temperatures slowly start to cool down. That's especially true in the Front Range League, where six of the top seven teams in the most recent CHSAANow.com Class 5A poll reside.
That won't last long as teams begin the process of pulling away from the pack. This week is a huge one for teams at the top of the Front Range, with undefeated and third-ranked Fairview (Boulder)
(7-0, 3-0) putting its perfect record up against two other unbeaten squads in No. 4 Legacy (Broomfield)
and top-ranked and city rival Boulder
The Knights host Legacy (Broomfield)
(7-0, 3-0) at 6:30 p.m. tonight, and then turn around and draw Boulder (7-0, 3-0) at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The first two weeks of October present its own challenge for Fairview, which visits No. 10 Greeley West
(4-1-2, 1-1-1) on Oct. 2. From there the Knights go north again to meet fifth-ranked Fort Collins
(4-1-1, 2-1-1) on Oct. 9, and two days later host No. 6 Broomfield
Fairview has allowed the fewest goals in 5A, with only two shots finding the back of the net through seven games. Senior Cooper Harmon
leads the team with seven goals.
The Tuesday game with Fairview aside, Legacy's run at the league title may hinge on the final week, when the Lightning face Broomfield, Fort Collins and Boulder in a span of eight days. Speaking of the Panthers, they took down Fort Collins and Broomfield in the last week-plus, with Milo Lewon
providing the only offense in a 1-0 victory over the defending state champions Sept. 17.
So, what about the rest of 5A, and the other three classifications for that matter? Let's take a closer look at some of the league races around the state and upcoming games that could shake things up:Class 5A
The spoiler to the Front Range League's rankings party is No. 2 Grandview (Aurora)
(8-0-1, 1-0). The Wolves have been an overtime machine this fall, with four games going into overtime and three into two overtimes. Grandview has seen three of its previous four games go longer than 80 minutes, but the Wolves have come away victorious each time.
That run will be put to the test again this evening with No. 7 Arapahoe (Centennial)
(6-0-2) paying a visit to Legacy Stadium. The Warriors have allowed three goals this season, but only one during the past seven games. Senior Cameron Gail
has 10 goals in eight games.
Eight players have scored for Grandview, but perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Grandview has 12 assists on 18 goals. Both teams still have to play Cherokee Trail (Aurora)
(5-1-1) and Mullen (Denver)
(6-1) down the stretch.
Chaparral took down Regis Jesuit 4-0 earlier this season, but lost its first league game to Rock Canyon. The Jaguars' lone league setback came to Castle View, which dropped its league game to Highlands Ranch
.Denver Prep League
Four teams are still perfect in league play, including 5A's eighth-ranked Denver East
(7-1, 3-0). Newcomer Regis Groff (Denver)
(8-0, 3-0) is ranked second in 4A and Kennedy (Denver)
(6-1, 3-0) is just outside the 4A polls. East hosts Regis Groff at 5:30 p.m. today and visits Kennedy on Thursday.
has eight goals for East, and four players have at least 11 points for Regis Groff. Junior Arye-el Ramos Martinez
is pacing Kennedy with 32 points, including 14 goals. East topped 4A's No. 6 Denver North
(5-1-1, 1-1) 1-0 last Friday.East Metro
The two highest-scoring teams in 5A square off for possession of first in the EMAC today, as Rangeview (Aurora)
(6-3, 4-0) hosts Hinkley (Aurora)
(6-1, 4-0) at 6:30 p.m. Rangeview junior Rashid Seidu-Aroza
leads 5A with 20 goals. Teammate Alexis Flores
has 12 goals and a 5A-leading 13 assists.Class 4A
The 10th-ranked Demons have excelled behind a balanced offense that features three players with at least five goals and 15 players with at least one assist. Green Mountain, behind the play of goalkeeper Ian Jones
and senior Oliver Hoelscher
(10 goals), has allowed only three goals.Northern
Eighth-ranked Centaurus (Lafayette)
has skidded a bit after losses to Steamboat Springs
and top-ranked Air Academy
, but the Warriors open league play today. The big game comes Oct. 2 when Centaurus (4-2) hosts Niwot
(5-3-1, 1-0) in a rematch of the 2017 semifinals. Manuel Tapia
leads the Cougars with 10 goals and six assists. Fernando Ruiz
also has 10 goals for Centaurus.Pikes Peak
In a continuing theme of big games later today, two of the top teams in 4A open PPL play as top-ranked Air Academy (6-1-1) hosts No. 9 Discovery Canyon (Colorado Springs)
The Kadets are coming off a 2-2 tie with 5A's ninth-ranked Rampart (Colorado Springs)
, while Discovery Canyon dropped its first game 2-1 in overtime to No. 7 Pueblo Centennial
. Senior Forrest Van Iwaarden
and sophomore Nathan Van Keulen
have six goals apiece for the Thunder; Thaddaeus Dewing
leads Air Academy with 11 goals and six assists.South Central
Pueblo Centennial (8-1-1, 1-0) gets its chance at revenge in the regular-season finale Oct. 16 when the Bulldogs visit Pueblo West
(6-3-1, 1-0). The Cyclones defeated Centennial 2-0 in the season opener thanks to a pair of goals from Mark Ritz
. Centennial has been on a tear since though, scoring 40 goals in nine games – 14 of them coming from junior Francisco Chavez
Fourth-ranked Battle Mountain (Edwards)
saw its first league blemish last Thursday with a 2-2 tie against Glenwood Springs
. The Huskies (8-1-1, 5-0-1) get another shot at the Sailors Oct. 11, and close out the regular season Oct. 18 against Steamboat Springs (6-1-1, 4-1-1). Junior Danny Barajas
has a team-high 13 goals and 11 assists for Battle Mountain through 10 games.Class 3A
Top-ranked Kent Denver (Englewood)
cleared one league hurdle already after edging Faith Christian (Arvada)
4-3 on Sept. 17. The Sun Devils have another big test Oct. 4 against No. 4 Colorado Academy (Denver)
Kent Denver (7-0-1, 3-0) withstood three second-half goals from No. 6 Faith Christian to remain undefeated in league play. Max Hewitt
scored two goals and Layton Purchase
added a goal and an assist.Tri-Peaks
Colorado Springs Christian
(4-3, 0-1) awaits Oct. 9, and No. 9 James Irwin (Colorado Springs
(6-1, 1-0) on Oct. 16.Western Slope
The race for the WSL crown could get much clearer this week when No. 2 Roaring Fork (Carbondale)
visits No. 7 Delta
on Thursday. The Rams (7-0-1, 1-0) have excelled behind senior Aidan Sloan
(eight goals, five assists). Delta (6-1-1, 1-0) dropped its only game to Roaring Fork on Sept. 8 in non-league play. Junior Martin Corral
has 13 goals.Class 2A
Twelve players have found the back of the net for Denver Christian. Sophomore Nagi Williams
and freshman Detcho Williams
lead Heritage Christian with eight goals apiece. Region 5
Only three teams reside in Region 5, but all three are capable of coming away with the league title.
Top-ranked Crested Butte
(9-1-2, 1-0-1) tied Ridgway
and edged No. 3 Telluride
1-0 the first time through. The Titans host Ridgway (3-3-1, 0-1-1) on Oct. 2 and travel to Telluride (5-3-1, 1-1) on Oct. 20.
Senior Tommy Linehan
is driving Crested Butte's offense with 13 goals. Four others have at least five.