DENVER – Here’s the problem that sometimes arises when taking a trip deep in the state tournament:
You run into a team that’s not only better than yours, but much better than yours.
That was the case for Fountain Valley Wednesday evening at All-City Stadium. The Danes superb season ended with a 6-1 loss to Denver Christian that was even worse than the score.
DC’s Thunder, the No. 1 seed, dominated the early stages of the game, the middle stages and the late stages. In other words, it was an utter rout.
DC improves to 15-2 and rides to the Tuesday’s 2A Final. Fountain Valley ends its season at 12-6.
Coach Byron Dacy said the Danes needed to repeat the defensive intensity and precision that carried them to a 2-1 win over Evangelical Christian in the quarterfinals.
That intensity and precision never arrived.
“We knew they’re a very talented team, and we needed to come out and have our best game,” Dacy said. “Unfortunately, we had a slow start. It made our game difficult.”
Fountain Valley star McKenna Monk said the Danes never quite find their rhythm.
“We really needed to communicate a little better,” Monk said. “I think if we had communicated a little better, it would have been a better game for us.”
For much of the season, Monk was able to carry her teammates to victory. Monk, a senior, collected a staggering 42 goals this season with seven hat tricks. (She scored five goals in four different games.) She did all this scoring despite being surrounded by highly motivated defenders.
But Monk and Fountain Valley’s offense fell silent for the first 55 minutes of Wednesday’s game. DC placed two defenders on Monk, and usually had a third defender lurking nearby. Monk had no chance, and neither did the Danes.
Give Monk credit. She didn’t surrender. With 23 minutes left, she finally escaped the gang that had engulfed her and launched a floating 25-yard shot into the net.
It was a suitable exclamation mark on her career. She finished with 116 goals.
Fountain Valley’s campus was evacuated Tuesday following a bomb scare. Dacy and Monk both declined to comment on the evacuation.