AURORA | On a night where it became more difficult to see as the game went along, Cherokee Trail got the goal it needed at the right time.
As heavy fog continued to settle over Legacy Stadium Friday night, senior Alesia Garcia notched her second game-winning goal in as many contests in the Class 5A girls state soccer playoffs with a wicked top corner goal early in the second half.
The score by Garcia — who had the overtime game-winner against Chatfield in the opening round of the Class 5A girls soccer state playoffs — stood up for a 2-1 victory over Cherry Creek and earned the Cougars a second straight trip to the state quarterfinals.
Senior Delaney McLelland scored in the first half to lift coach Jeremy Schaller’s sixth-seeded Cherokee Trail (14-3) team into a tie after it fell behind Centennial League rival and No. 11-seeded Cherry Creek early.
The Cougars avenged a loss in the same round to the Bruins when Garcia and her fellow seniors were freshmen and moved into the quarterfinals, where they will visit third-seeded Rock Canyon — a 1-0 winner over Castle View — at 6:30 p.m. May 16 at Shea Stadium.
Freshman Madisyn Bagby had the assist on Garcia’s game-winning goal when she rolled a pass to her about 20 yards away from the goal and sophomore keeper Paige Hickman made six saves.
Cherokee Trail joined top-seeded Grandview (a 6-0 winner over No. 17 Boulder in the preceding game at Legacy Stadium) and No. 29 Regis Jesuit (a 1-0 winner at No. 13 Legacy) to give Aurora three programs still alive in the quarterfinals.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
(6) CHEROKEE TRAIL 2, (11) CHERRY CREEK 1
Score by halves:
Cherry Creek 1 0 — 1
Cherokee Trail 1 1 — 2
Cherokee Trail goals: Alesia Garcia (GWG), Delaney McLelland. Cherokee Trail assist: Madisyn Bagby. Cherokee Trail saves: Paige Hickman (7 shots on goal-6 saves)