ARVADA | The Cherokee Trail girls soccer team’s march through higher seeds in the Class 5A state soccer tournament continued Friday evening, as the 20th-seeded Cougars toppled fourth-seeded Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Senior Rebekah Burton came through with yet another clutch goal for Cherokee Trail, finding the back of the net early in overtime to give her team a 2-1 sudden victory win.
It was that kind of night for Aurora teams, as Grandview and Regis Jesuit also won overtime contests — against Fossil Ridge and Rocky Mountain, respectively — to moved into the 5A quarterfinals along with the Cougars. The Wolves and Raiders move on to play each other, Cherokee Trail takes on a familiar foe in fellow Centennial League team No. 12 Arapahoe.
Junior Alesia Garcia gave coach Jeremy Schaller’s Cougars — who upset No. 13 Chaparral in the opening round — the lead with just over 16 minute left in regulation, but the Mustangs found the equalizer to send it to overtime.
Junior defender Makaela Hudcovic headed out a shot ticketed to go inside the near post after Cherokee Trail couldn’t clear a corner kick serve and it kept the Cougars alive long enough for Burton to end it with her 19th goal of the season.
Hudcovic also picked up an assist for Cherokee Trail, as did senior Zariah Smith, while freshman goalkeeper Paige Hickman stopped eight of nine shots on goal.
The Cougars finally broke through with a second round win and now set their sits on Arapahoe, a team they lost to 6-2 on April 20 in league play. The Warriors notched an upset of their own Friday with a 1-0 victory over No. 5 ThunderRidge, the highest seed to fall until Cherokee Trail’s win over No. 4.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
(20) CHEROKEE TRAIL 2, (4) RALSTON VALLEY 1 (OT)
Score by halves:
Cher. Trail 0 1 1 — 2
Ralston Valley 0 1 0 — 1
Cherokee Trail goals: Rebekah Burton (GW), Alesia Garcia. Cherokee Trail assists: Makaela Hudcovic, Zariah Smith. Cherokee Trail saves: Paige Hickman (9 shots on goal-8 saves)