Grandview junior Naomi Clark runs onto an open ball during the Wolves’ Class 5A girls soccer state semifinal against Valor Christian on May 19, 2022, at the University of Denver. Clark scored early in the second overtime to send the fourth-seeded Wolves past the top-seeded Eagles and into the 5A state championship game. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | Naomi Clark’s penchant for scoring game-winning goals this season for the Grandview girls soccer team is becoming legend.

The junior striker put an end to a 99-minute scoreless deadlock that stretched late into the night Thursday at the University of Denver when her goal gave the fourth-seeded Wolves a 1-0 double-overtime victory over top-seeded Valor Christian and a spot in the May 25 Class 5A state championship game.

Clark ran onto a through ball from senior Meg Gonzalez and got there before the Eagles’ onrushing goalkeeper and finished into an empty net for her seventh game-winning goal of the season and second consecutive in the postseason. Coach Brian Wood’s Grandview team avenged a 1-0 loss to Valor Christian in the regular season.

The Wolves head to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the 5A state championship game at 8 p.m. May 25, where they will face second-seeded and defending state champion Broomfield, which knocked off No. 6 Columbine 2-1 in overtime in the other semifinal.

To keep themselves in it, Grandview needed some stellar play from its veteran defense along with senior keeper Jordan Nytes, who was simply spectacular in the net.

The only time Nytes came out of her net and gave the Eagles a prime scoring chance was with two minutes left in the first overtime, but a shot went wide that would have ended the game. A few seconds later, the lights at Ciber Field turned off automatically, plunging the field into darkness.

The teams were sent to the lockerrooms until the lights were back on and then returned to the pitch to finish the first overtime and start the second. Just over four minutes into the second extra period is when Clark struck for her game-winner as Gonzalez sent a ball forward up the left wing and Clark eluded keeper Jaidin Kinch and scored.

Grandview might have had a lead at halftime courtesy of a ripped shot by senior Alexis Robinson in the closing seconds that caromed hard off the crossbar and came out.

Valor Christian had the majority of the possession in the second half, but the Wolves generated some chances with longballs sent for Clark, senior Avery Harr and junior Isa Dillehay. Those chances were too strong or not strong enough, leading to very few prime scoring chances. A corner kick service from sophomore Samantha Maroni glanced off the crossbar and came out late in regulation in another good chance.

Meanwhile, Nytes dominated in the box by snatching crosses or shots off set pieces, while senior Taylor Gentry and the backline frustrated Valor Christian goal leader Ajanae Respass, blocked a number of shots and snuffed out a number of chances as the Eagles attempted to center the ball from the wings.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Score by halves:

Grandview        0  0  0  1 — 1

Valor Christian  0  0  0  0 — 0


Second overtime

Grandview — Naomi Clark (Meg Gonzalez), 100th minute

Grandview saves: Jordan Nytes (8 shots on goal-8 saves)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments