Stellar season comes to heartbreaking end
ARVADA – One unfortunate bounce will keep the Basalt girls soccer team out of the Class 3A state championship game on Saturday.
With only 42 seconds expired in the Lady Longhorns semifinal game last night, Denver Christian’s Kelsey Carmichael’s corner kick glanced off the shoulder of a Basalt defender and over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Autumn Caughern for the lone goal in the Longhorns 1-0 loss.
It was an unfortunate start for the third-seeded Longhorns, who were attempting to reach the championship game for the first time in team history. It was also the first goal Basalt had allowed since April 8, a span of 10 games.
“It was just one of those things where it took a deflection and just rolled in,” Basalt coach Chris Woods said last night from the North Area Athletic Complex. “I think the girls were a little bit nervous. As soon as that goal went in they were a little bit shocked. We haven’t had a goal scored on us in a little while.”
Carmichael said she didn’t expect her corner to go into the net without one of her teammates touching it first, but once in a while she gets lucky on her kicks.
“Every 20 corner kicks or so I get one of those,” she said. “It just happened. Basalt is a great team, probably the best team we’ve played all season, and we just held on.”
Denver Christian (14-4), the tournament’s 10th seed, tried to follow up on their good fortune by scoring another quick goal, but Caughern was steady between the posts. She stopped five shots in the first half, and nine for the game. Afterward she tried to take responsibility for the lone goal.
“It was just one of those shots that she happened to hit just right,” she said. “It was out of my reach and it curved in. Whether our girl was there or not, it would have gone in. It was bad timing for her, and it made her feel like it was her fault, but I was out of position.”
Basalt (14-2) finished with only one shot on goal. The Longhorns were more organized in the second half, but the Crusaders defense was quick to clear the ball from in front of their net before it could be directed into the goal.
“We just couldn’t get one back,” Woods said. “Every time we’d have a through ball it would seem to ricochet, and the bounce just wasn’t with us.”
“I don’t think we ever regrouped,” Caughern said. “I didn’t see the team that I’ve watched all year. If we would have played that way, we would have had it hands down. They just got that lucky goal and I was out of position, and that’s all it takes in soccer.”
Denver Christian will play Metro League rival Kent Denver, the tournament’s fifth seed, in Saturday’s championship at 6 p.m. at NAAC. Kent Denver beat the Crusaders 1-0 when the teams played earlier this season.
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