AURORA | The city’s strong season on the boys soccer pitch was reflected in the brackets for the Class 5A state tournament, as Aurora teams received three of the top five seeds in the 32-team bracket.
A total of seven city teams in all made the 5A postseason — the same amount as last season — while Vista PEAK qualified for the 5A state playoffs for the second time in two varsity seasons.
The first round of the playoffs is scheduled for Oct. 24, with the top 16 seeds playing at home.
Leading the away among Aurora’s 5A qualifiers are No. 1 Smoky Hill, No. 3 Rangeview and No. 5 Grandview.
Coach Kersten Mullan’s Smoky Hill team, which lost to Boulder in last season’s 5A state championship game, finished the season 13-2 and won its second consecutive Centennial League championship. The Buffaloes welcome in No. 32 Westminster (6-8-1) in the first round.
Some thought Rangeview might be the No. 1 seed given it posted the school’s first undefeated season at 15-0. But coach Vic Strouse’s EMAC champion Raiders likely lost out to Smoky Hill (from the Centennial League) and No. 2 Rock Canyon (from the Continental League) due to strength of league.
Rangeview opens the postseason with a familiar foe, as it will face Regis Jesuit (6-7-2) — the No. 30 seed — in a rematch of an all-city first round contest from last season won by Rangeview 2-1 in snowy conditions.
A boys soccer-football doubleheader for Rangeview is a possibility for Thursday at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.
Another all-Aurora match is set between Grandview, the No. 5 seed, and 28th-seeded Hinkley. Coach Brian Wood’s Wolves (12-2-1) rose to as high as No. 2 in the CHSAANow.com coaches/media poll and led the Centennial League until a late loss to Smoky Hill. Grandview’s only losses came to No. 1 Smoky Hill and No. 8 Montbello.
Coach Kevin Daly’s Hinkley team had a chance to take the EMAC title with a win over Rangeview, but fell 3-0. The loss didn’t keep the Thunderbirds out of the playoffs, however, as their 8-6-1 record was good enough.
Aurora Central netted the No. 12 seed, which also brings a home game with it.
The Trojans — whose 11 wins on the season includes one over No. 1 Smoky Hill — lost in the first round of last season’s playoffs to Highlands Ranch, but gets a chance to make up for it when it plays host to No. 21 Standley Lake (11-3-1).
Cherokee Trail, which also has a victory over No. 1 Smoky Hill to its credit, made the 5A playoffs for the first time with new coach Mazen Kayali at the helm.
The Cougars — who finished fourth in the rugged Centennial League — posted a 7-5-3 regular season record, which put them opposite No. 9 Boulder (12-3), the defending 5A state champion, in the first round.
Missing out on the postseason is Eaglecrest — a quarterfinalist last season — which finished 7-8 overall. Coach Greg Watts thought his team’s competitive and strength of schedule might get them in, but the seeding committee didn’t include them in the top 32.
Vista PEAK made the 4A state playoffs for the second time in two varsity seasons.
Coach Jason Elliott’s team is seeded 23rd — six spots higher than last season when the Bison lost to Mullen — drawing a first round contest against No. 10 Valor Christian. Both teams have 10-5 record.
2013 CLASS 5A BOYS STATE SOCCER PLAYOFFS
First round (Oct. 24)
No. 32 Westminster (6-8-1) at NO. 1 SMOKY HILL (13-2), Oct. 24, 4 p.m.
No. 17 Fort Collins (7-4-4) at No. 16 Ralston Valley (10-4-1)
No. 25 Fossil Ridge (8-5-1) at No. 8 George Washington (12-1-2)
NO. 24 CHEROKEE TRAIL (7-5-3) at No. 9 Boulder (12-3), Oct. 24, 7 p.m., Recht Field
NO. 28 HINKLEY (8-6-1) vs. NO. 5 GRANDVIEW (12-2-1), Oct. 24, 6 p.m., Legacy Stadium
No. 21 Standley Lake (11-3-1) at NO. 12 AURORA CENTRAL (11-3-1), Oct. 24, 4 p.m.
No. 29 Lakewood (8-6-1) at No. 4 Pine Creek (12-1-2)
No. 20 Littleton (9-4-2) at No. 13 Chatfield (11-3-1)
NO. 30 REGIS JESUIT (6-7-2) vs. NO. 3 RANGEVIEW (15-0), Oct. 24, 4 p.m., Aurora Public Schools Stadium
No. 19 Denver East (7-5-3) at No. 14 Highlands Ranch (10-4-1)
No. 27 Poudre (11-4) at No. 6 Cherry Creek (11-3-1)
No. 22 Liberty (8-6-1) at No. 11 Arvada West (12-3)
No. 26 Heritage (8-5-2) at No. 7 Fairview (12-2-1)
No. 23 Mountain Vista (8-5-2) at No. 10 Montbello (11-2-2)
No. 31 Doherty (8-6-1) at No. 2 Rock Canyon (12-0-2)
No. 18 Arapahoe (8-5-1) vs. No. 15 Fruita Monument (12-2-1), Oct. 24, 4 p.m., Canyon View Park
2013 CLASS 4A BOYS STATE SOCCER PLAYOFFS
First round, Oct. 23
No. 23 VISTA PEAK (10-5) at No. 10 Valor Christian (10-5), Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel.