AURORA • For a few weeks at the start of the season, The Classical Academy’s soccer team was looking very unlike a typical Classical Academy team.
The Titans were 3-3. They were youthful. They looked a little lost after the loss of key graduating players from the 2017 team.
They recovered to become a typical TCA team, winning 15 games in a row.
The recovery ended Wednesday night. The ultra-quick Denver North Vikings defeated the Titans, 1-0, in the state 4A semifinals. North will meet Air Academy in Saturday’s finals at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
“I’m very proud of this team,” TCA athletic director Gary Geiger said after the game. “We graduated some great senior leadership. If at the beginning of the year we’d been told we’d get to this point, we’d be happy. We’d be very happy. This is a great group of kids.”
The first half was scoreless, and TCA’s offense was quiet. The Titans struggled to contain North’s Jon Gonzalez, who threatened to score several times.
The threatening ended midway through the second half. Gonzalez scored on a header, sending the North student body into an eruption of joy.
TCA came achingly close to answering. With 10 minutes left, TCA’s Aaron Peck launched a curving shot from 30 yards. For an instant, it looked as if the game would be tied.
But North goalkeeper Bryan Torres made a lunging save, rescuing the lead and, as it turns out, the game. Peck was left shaking his head after the save.
When the game ended, the Titans were down, but not overly down.
They had started slow and gained momentum in a season full of drama. They survived two shootouts in the state playoffs. They traveled a greater distance than seemed possible in the early days of the season.
Since 2011, the Titans are 139-17 under the direction of coach Blake Galvin.
It’s been a remarkable run, a run continued by this 2018 team.