LAFAYETTE It ended in pouring rain for the Sand Creek girls' soccer players, who ended their late-season tumble with their worst loss of the season on a soaked field Tuesday night.
After a one-hour, seven-minute delay at Warriors Field at Centaurus, Lauren Esler scored three of her four goals in the first half before she was pulled in the 56th minute as the ninth-seeded Warriors (10-2-3) routed the No. 24 Scorpions (9-5-2) 6-2 in the opening round of the 4A state playoffs.
Visibly upset with the refs, Sand Creek coach Craig Decker tried to be careful with his words after getting dealt the same fate as last year's opening round when Centaurus won 4-2.
'We came here last year and it was the same exact thing. They get a goal quickly and we start getting upset with the refs, ' Decker said. 'I'll never blame a game on refs, but obviously we weren't getting the calls today that we thought should have been called until 2 minutes left. '
Brianna Pratt and Tarah Patterson scored in the final 8 minutes for Scorpions to eliminate the shutout, but it was practically meaningless to a team that won only two of its final eight games without the services of junior captain Christina Tafoya, who suffered a concussion nine games ago.
'We are kind of a Jekyll and Hyde team, ' Decker said. 'And tonight we certainly didn't play anywhere near our best. '
And yes, he admits Centaurus' Esler had something to do with the outcome.
The sophomore said 'she felt in the right place all night ' as she scored in the fourth, 17th, 30th and 46th minutes before she was rested midway through the second half.
Esler's first goal came when the ball bounced off goalkeeper Megan Vyvlecka and ended between Esler's feet with an empty net in front of her to make it 1-0. Her second was due to a gaffe in front of the net by Vyvlecka that Esler put in to push the lead to 2-0. Then, her third goal was a 20-yard laser that stuck the right corner of the net to make it 4-0, and her fourth was a ball touched by four Centaurus players in the box before she stuck it in to make it 5-0.
Danelle Dondelinger had a goal in the 27th minute and Allison Ebersole made it 6-0 in the 57th minute.
'We got frustrated too fast, ' Sand Creek sophomore Makenna Fuhrmann said. 'We'll have to remember this one next season. '