No. 23 seed Roaring Fork soccer stuns No. 7 The Academy in 3A second round |

No. 23 seed Roaring Fork soccer stuns No. 7 The Academy in 3A second round

Joshua Carney
Glenwood Springs Post Independnet

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Traveling to Broomfield on Tuesday for a second-round state playoff game against No. 7 seed The Academy, the No. 23-seeded Roaring Fork boys soccer team pulled off the stunning 2-0 upset to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals of the 3A state playoff bracket.

Senior Marcos Ramos started the scoring for the Rams with a goal in the 23rd minute off an assist from fellow senior Hassan Vallejo to give the Rams a 1-0 lead. Strong defensive containment allowed Roaring Fork to take the lead into the half on the road.

The Wildcats came out more aggressive in the second half, but junior Liam Laird stretched the Roaring Fork lead to 2-0 off an assist from junior Jorge Sandoval in the 72nd minute. Continued strong defense, and four second-half saves by junior goalkeeper Leo Loya, aided the Rams in the upset win over the Wildcats.

Loya stood tall in net, including a diving save on a penalty kick in the 88th minute that kept things in check. The back-line defense — missing senior captain Edwin Candela — helped stymie the Wildcat attack.

Getting a number of contributions from reserves in the second round of the playoffs also propelled the Rams to the upset win.

“I kind of came in knowing that we would have a fighting chance against this team, and we didn’t feel like much of an underdog,” Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes said. “This team we came in against was very disciplined and played great defense, but any time we get a goal we have a fighting chance. And that’s the philosophy we have to take into the next round against Kent Denver.”

The win over the Wildcats sets up a 2 p.m. quarterfinal matchup Saturday afternoon with No. 2 Kent Denver at Kent Stadium.

This will be the first time the Rams will get a shot at playing the Sun Devils under Forbes’ direction. Kent Denver beat No. 15 seed Coal Ridge 1-0 in the second round.

“It’s a privilege to get a chance to play the three-time state champions and that’s a testament to our boys and all the hard work they put in this summer,” Forbes said.

No. 12 seed Delta has also advanced to the quarterfinals after upsetting No. 5 Denver Science and Technology 3-0 in the second round. Delta plays Saturday at No. 4 seed Colorado Springs Christian.