Roaring Fork punches ticket to 3A soccer semis with 1-0 win over Aurora West Prep
Roaring Fork High School’s boys soccer team made the necessary game adjustments playing on a full-size turf field Saturday in Aurora, earning the 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Aurora West Prep Academy to advance to the Class 3A state semifinals.
It’s the second straight trip to the final four for the Rams, who look to overcome an overtime loss on penalty kicks to Liberty Common last season.
Playing at the Hinkley High School stadium on a warm fall day with the temperature in the mid-70s Saturday, the fifth-seeded Rams kept Aurora West Prep on the defensive most of the game.
“They only had maybe two or three shots on goal, and our back line had a really strong game,” Roaring Fork coach Nick Forbes said, adding he gave “Man of the Game” honors to senior defensive player Frankie Harrington.
With two Spartan players coming into the game having scored 44 and 20 goals on the season, “we just kind of staved the service to them, and the rest was a collective team effort.”
After a scoreless first half, senior Dylan Webster scored the only goal of the game in the 66th minute from just outside the 18 off a feed from fellow senior Lucas Schramer.
“We did a nice job playing shorter balls to the feet,” Forbes said of the modified game style after having played the first two games of the playoffs at home on the shorter, narrower grass field at Carbondale Middle School.
“We came out a little nervous in the first 20 minutes, just trying to get a sense of how strong they were,” Forbes said of the host Spartans. “Once we got a sense of that, we were the ones creating the most scoring opportunities.”
Rams senior Johnny Delgado said the win was a real team effort, and if they can continue that into the semifinals Roaring Fork could find itself playing for a state championship.
“We’ve worked really hard all season, and we deserve this,” Delgado said. “We played pretty well today, and I think we can do it again.”
The Rams will play No. 1 seed Salida — winner on penalty kicks over Faith Christian Saturday — on Wednesday at All City Stadium in Denver for the right to play for the 3A championship. Roaring Fork beat Salida in the quarterfinals last season in Carbondale.
Also advancing to the 3A semifinals Saturday were Atlas Prep School, 7-0 winners over Delta, and Kent Denver, 6-1 winners over Colorado Academy.
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High school sports are back. At least, things seem to be trending that way. As it stands, what is being dubbed “Season B” can begin practice on Monday, Jan. 18, with competition slated to get underway a week later.