COMMERCE CITY — Thad Dewing’s decorated career at Air Academy nearly ended with yelling and a pileup. But instead he lay to the left of the goal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a long time, remembering.

“All the memories, not just tonight. I’m so blessed to be here,” Dewing, a senior, said. “To win it (all) two times is amazing. So I’m so grateful for that.”

It might have been three times, but undefeated Skyview came out with more intensity Saturday and sent the Kadets to a 2-1 loss, runners-up after two straight 4A championships. The Wolverines took home the first state title in school history.

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The Kadets are no strangers to rallying under pressure, but couldn’t even the score this time after falling behind 2-0. Even as the clock wound down, Dewing kept faith.

“I was always believing that we could have won. We had the chances,” he said. “They’re a good team, but I thought we had what it took to put it away. In the end, that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Dewing broke through for the Kadets in the 50th minute. After Air Academy sent one high, the team reset. Dewing beat his man, ducked around sliding Skyview goalkeeper Brian Fierro and it dribbled in. It was the reigning Gatorade Colorado Boys' Soccer player of the year’s 29th goal of the season.

But Air Academy got no closer.

Once the Kadets get over the initial disappointment, coach Espen Hosoien thinks they’ll be proud of what they accomplished.

“We’ve been here three years in a row now,” Hosoien said. “It’s more fun to win, but like I told my guys, there’s no losers when you make it to the final up here.”

Midway through the first half, the Wolverines’ Luis Reyes came up the side and had almost no angle, but goalkeeper Travis Tygart Jr. appeared to miscalculate and it got between him and the goalpost. Skyview leading scorer Jared Ramos sent a beautiful shot into the top corner after a free kick a few minutes later to double the lead.

The Kadets (15-5) had allowed as many goals in the first half as they had their entire playoff run. The Wolverines (18-0-2) weren’t about to let them off easy for that.

Dewing had many close calls in the first half. He sent one off the post and had an apparent goal called back for being offsides.

“I wish we could have this game back, obviously,” Dewing said. “I’m just so thankful to be on this team with such a bunch of great guys.”

Despite tough road to state title game, Air Academy boys' soccer ready for challenge
Air Academy soccer punches third-straight ticket to 4A championship in win over Lewis-Palmer