BOYS’ SOCCER PLAYOFFS
No. 3 Liberty 2, No. 6 Pine Creek 1
At D-20 Stadium: Liberty punched its ticket to the program’s first ever appearance in the Class 5A semifinals on Saturday with a state quarterfinal victory over district rival Pine Creek.
Milas Noorwood scored off a penalty kick in the first half to give Liberty a 1-0 lead. Mauricio Reyes scored in the first minute of the second half, sending a laser from the 10-yard line to the opposite corner of the goal.
“Pine Creek is an insane team, and coming out and finding a D-20 team in the quarterfinals is kind of crazy, but hard work is everything and we just have to keep going,” Reyes said. “We are going 100% and I think this gives us an extra boost for what is coming.”
Pine Creek cut Liberty’s lead to one midway through the second half off a corner, headed in by John Murdock. From there, the Eagles had plenty of opportunity in front of the Liberty goal, but the Lancers’ corner defense stood tall.
“With our team fighting this long ... we just had to give it everything we got,” said Noorwood, who led the Lancers’ defensive effort in front of the goal, heading multiple balls out of the box. “That’s something I’m good at I’m going to keep doing it until I can’t. I’m a little dizzy right now but I’m holding in.”
Senior captain Jeff Koch also had a hand in Liberty’s corner defense, which stopped at least six attempts in the second half.
“Jeff is the absolute leader of this team,” said Liberty coach Chaz Woodson. “He has the spirit and the heart of this team. But really everybody stepped up to do it today. If it wasn’t Jeff or Milas, it was somebody else clearing it out making sure they didn’t get a second or third opportunity.”
“We have been trying to rebuild the program a bit,” Woodson said. “In the past we won five state championships, but moving to 5A was an adjustment, but we’ve been working really hard to get back into the position to be one of the powerhouses in Colorado Springs.”
Liberty defeated Pine Creek 3-2 in the regular season in come-from behind fashion, a difficult feat for any team, Woodson said.
“I think this will give us a lot of confidence moving forward to play whoever we play next,” Woodson said.
The Lancers will move on to face No. 2 Fairview in the state semifinals next week.
No. 8 Lewis-Palmer 4, No. 1 Battle Mountain 0
At Battle Mountain: Lewis-Palmer upset top-seeded Battle Mountain and will move on to the state semifinal to face No. 5 Denver North.
The Rangers struck early, scoring in the first three minutes, and netted two more in the final five minutes of the first half to enter the break with a 3-0 lead. Lewis-Palmer scored again early in the second half while the defense closed out the upset win.
No. 14 Frontier Academy 2, No. 6 Manitou Springs 1
At Manitou Springs: Manitou Springs’ run in the 3A state tournament ends in an upset loss in the state quarterfinals to No. 14 Frontier Academy.
The Mustangs’ season ends with a 9-3 record.
No. 5 Thomas MacLaren 2, No. 4 Loveland Classical 1 (OT)
At Loveland Classical: Loveland Classical netted a second-half goal to force overtime in a first-round 2A playoff game, but Thomas MacLaren scored in OT to move on to the state semifinals.
The Highlanders will move on to the state semifinals to play No. 1 Denver Christian.
No. 3 Dawson School 6, No. 6 Vanguard 1
At Dawson School: Nick Knobel scored a hat trick for Dawson School as the Mustangs punched their ticket to the 2A semifinals.
Vanguard concludes the season 3-3.
No. 1 Denver Christian 1, No. 8 Ellicott 0
At Denver Christian: A first-half goal lifted top-seeded Denver Christian over No. 8 Ellicott to advance to the state semifinal.
Ellicott finishes the season 5-3.
St. Mary’s 3, Salida 0
At Salida: St. Mary’s concluded the regular season on a six-game winning streak, capped by a straight-set 3A Tri-Peaks win over Salida 25-18, 25-10, 25-14.
Jillian Kellick led the Pirates with 15 kills and three blocks. Hannah Turpin had seven kills and Ceanne Smith had four aces. Emma White had three aces and six kills.
Evangelical Christian 3, Deer Trail 1
At ECA: The Eagles bounced back from a two-game losing skid to end the regular season with a nonconference win over Deer Trail.
ECA was led by Elana Sutton with seven kills. Maddie Castro and Kailey DeRuiter had six kills each. Sydney Hood had three aces and Micah Elpers had three blocks. Anna Castro had two blocks.
James Irwin 3, Florence 0
At James Irwin: James Irwin claimed a dominant 3A Tri-Peaks win over Florence in the final match of the regular season, 25-18, 25-9, 25-4.
Gabby Liles had 13 kills for the Jaguars and Kya’ Willis had seven. Breeana Noel had five aces and Willis added four aces and four blocks.
Mesa Ridge 3, Harrison 1
Calhan 3, South Park 0
Manitou Springs 3, Vanguard 1
Peyton 3, Mitchell 0