AURORA | Jose Soto continues to be in the right place at the right time for the Grandview boys soccer team and it has helped them reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals.
The senior striker weaved his way through four defenders and slotted a shot inside the far post late in the opening half of Thursday’s 5A first round playoff matchup against Denver East and it proved to be the game-winner in the fourth-seeded Wolves’ 3-0 win over the 13th-seeded Angels at Legacy Stadium.
Junior Ben Beckman and Charlie Lucero added insurance goals in the second half and junior Conrad Casebolt picked up an assist to help coach Brian Wood’s team advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
The Wolves (10-1) will again take the pitch at Legacy Stadium for a 6 p.m. contest against 12th-seeded Arvada West (7-1-2), which upset another Aurora team, Rangeview.
Soto — the team leader in goals — came into the game with a five-game scoring streak and nearly extended it with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, but he volleyed a rebound of an original shot by junior Blake Harwell high over the crossbar with an open net.
Soto didn’t miss in the 36th minute, however, navigating a gauntlet of Denver East defenders before getting a foot on a shot just in front of another sliding defender for his seventh goal of the season.
The Wolves defended the one-goal lead until the 61st minute when a crossing pass from the wing from Casebolt went across the goal and ended up on the foot of Lucero, who tallied his third goal of the season to double the advantage.
Six minutes later, a free kick opportunity award to Grandview when junior Dylan Thompson got taken down resulted in the first goal of the season for Beckman, a defender. His service made it all the way through the goal box without any contact and it bounced inside the far post as the Angels’ goalkeeper reacted late.
Senior goalie Noah Tsehaye only had to make three saves for the Wolves.
The Wolves were the only Aurora team to advance through the opening round as top-seeded Regis Jesuit fell to No. 16 Cherry Creek — which dealt Grandview its only loss of the season in Centennial League play — while Rangeview lost to Arvada West and sixth-seeded Pine Creek defeated No. 11 Aurora Central 4-0.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
(4) GRANDVIEW 3, (13) DENVER EAST 0
Score by halves:
Denver East 0 0 — 0
Grandview 1 2 — 3
Grandview — Jose Soto, 36th minute
Grandview — Charlie Lucero (Conrad Casebolt), 61st minute
Grandview — Ben Beckman, 67th minute