Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Playoff brackets out for lacrosse, girls soccer
IF YOU GO…
Who: No. 8 Aspen boys vs. No. 9 Evergreen
What: First round of Class 4A state playoffs
When: 5 p.m. today on AHS turf
Who: No. 6 Aspen girls vs. No. 27 Englewood
What: First round of Class 3A state playoffs
When: 5 p.m. Wednesday on AHS turf
All that talk about rankings and RPI in recent weeks? You can forget about it with the release of the state playoff brackets in lacrosse and girls soccer Monday.
It’s either win or go home from here on out.
The Roaring Fork Valley is well represented in both sports this postseason. The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team will get it rolling at 5 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Evergreen in the first round on the AHS turf. The AHS girls soccer team will host Englewood at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the turf, while the Basalt High School girls soccer team will be in Salida on Wednesday night.
The AHS girls lacrosse team drew a first-round bye and likely won’t play until Friday or Saturday.
Here’s a breakdown of each of the brackets and what to look for.
Aspen (10-5) drew the No. 8 seed in Class 4A and will face No. 9 Evergreen (8-7) in the first round Tuesday evening. Does this matchup sound familiar? It should, as the two teams also played in the first round a year ago, with No. 6 Aspen beating No. 11 Evergreen, 10-5.
The Skiers went on to knock off No. 3 Battle Mountain in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Cheyenne Mountain in the semifinals.
Should AHS beat Evergreen once again, it would face either No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain or No. 16 Holy Family in the quarterfinals, which would most likely be played Friday.
Cheyenne Mountain beat Aspen, 13-5, in the semis last spring on the AHS turf, so I’m sure the Skiers would like another shot at them. The Indians are 13-2 this season, but both losses came to teams from Virginia back in March. Nobody this side of the Mississippi River has beaten them this year.
Evergreen enters Tuesday’s game at Aspen on a four-game win streak, having allowed only five combined goals over that stretch. None of those games were against a playoff team, however.
The undefeated Aspen girls (15-0) snagged the No. 4 seed, easily the highest postseason seed in the program’s short 10-year history. With a rather odd 20-team bracket in girls lacrosse, the top 12 seeds all get first-round byes.
This means Aspen won’t play its round of 16 game until likely Friday or Saturday. The Skiers will face either No. 20 Battle Mountain or No. 13 Air Academy, who play at 4 p.m. Tuesday over in Colorado Springs. Both opponents should be familiar as Aspen beat each of them in the span of eight days back in early April.
Battle Mountain (9-6) lost to the Skiers on April 2, 16-3. I’d say the Huskies are a long shot to knock off Air Academy (10-5), which is one of only four schools to have ever won a state championship in girls lacrosse in Colorado. The Kadets won their third and latest state title in 2014.
Aspen played at Air Academy on April 10, winning 14-10 in its closest contest of the season. The two teams also met in the first round last spring, No. 13 Aspen holding off No. 20 Air Academy, 11-10. The Skiers then lost to No. 4 Regis Jesuit in the second round, 15-7. AHS has never been to the state quarterfinals.
Also making the postseason in girls lacrosse is Roaring Fork, which is playing its inaugural varsity season. The Rams (10-3) earned the 16 seed and will host No. 17 Conifer (10-5) at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The winner would face No. 1 Colorado Academy, a five-time state champion and one of the state’s unquestioned superpowers in the sport.
If you’re curious, Cherry Creek has won the most state titles in girls lacrosse with 10. The Bruins are the No. 2 seed this spring.
The Aspen girls soccer team (11-2-1) drew the No. 6 seed in Class 3A and will host No. 27 Englewood (9-6) at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the AHS turf. Bucking what seems to be a trend of repeat matchups, these two teams have not played each other in recent memory.
The Skiers hope to find the same magic that carried them to the state semifinals last spring as the 13 seed. AHS needed overtime to beat No. 20 Faith Christian in the first round a year ago, then went on to stun No. 4 The Academy and No. 5 Lutheran in the next two rounds. The season ended with a 1-0 loss to No. 1 Jefferson Academy in the semifinals. The Jaguars beat Kent Denver for the state championship.
Speaking of Jefferson Academy, it drew the No. 3 seed this year and could be a possible opponent for Aspen in the May 15 quarterfinals, should each team get that far. The Jaguars play No. 30 Atlas Prep in the first round and then would face either No. 14 DSST: Stapleton or No. 19 Roaring Fork in the second round.
Should Aspen get by Englewood on Wednesday, it would face either No. 11 SkyView Academy or No. 22 The Vanguard School in the second round Saturday.
Also sneaking into the postseason was Basalt, which drew the 29 seed despite a 4-9-2 overall record. The Longhorns had a huge tie with Aspen last week that helped. BHS will travel to No. 4 Salida for a 6 p.m. game Wednesday in the first round. The Spartans (12-2-1) are in the midst of one of the best seasons in program history.
Basalt was a 19 seed last spring and knocked off No. 14 Middle Park in the first round before losing 3-0 to No. 3 Kent Denver in the second.
The Salida-Basalt winner on Wednesday will face either No. 13 Prospect Ridge Academy or No. 20 Colorado Springs Christian in the next round.
Colorado Academy is the top seed in 3A, while Kent Denver is No. 2. Here’s the complete 3A bracket.
Note: This will be the final Prep Playbook column of the 2018-19 high school season. Thanks for tagging along.
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