Cherokee Trail junior striker Torie Turner, left, has scored 15 goals going into the Cougars’ Class 5A girls soccer first round playoff game against defensive-minded Legend on May 10, 2022. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | A capsule look at the Class 5A girls soccer state playoff first round game between Cherokee Trail and Legend scheduled for May 10, 2022:

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


NO. 23 CHEROKEE TRAIL (7-7-1) AT NO. 10 LEGEND (13-2)

May 10, 7 p.m., EchoPark Stadium

BREAKDOWN: Cherokee Trail and Legend both make their returns to the Class 5A state playoffs after both last appeared in it in 2019, when the Cougars won a first round matchup with ThunderRidge before losing in the second round to Grandview and the Titans lost to Cherry Creek in the first round. …The programs have not played each other since the 2009 season.

CHEROKEE TRAIL: Coach Jose Rosales’ Cougars earned hard-fought 4-2 win over Denver South in its regular season finale to put the finishing touches on its postseason resume. Cherokee Trail won three of its final four games — with the loss coming to seventh-seeded Rock Canyon in a game it led at halftime — and finished sixth in the Centennial League, which had six of its eight teams make it to either the Class 4A or 5A postseason. …Cherokee Trail averaged a little over two goals per game on the season and nearly half of its 33 goals came from junior striker Torie Turner, who enters the postseason with 15 to go with three assists. Sophomore striker Kiana Sparrow scored six goals to rank second, but hasn’t played since early April. Sophomore Daniella Iaquinta has five goals and shares the team lead in assists with four with Sparrow and junior midfielder Abby Winsor. The Cougars have given up exactly an average of two goals per game and had a trio of players in the net throughout the course of the season. The majority of the minutes went to freshman Kiley Hyde, but freshman Ruby Arsenault has backstopped the team in the last three games of the season.

LEGEND: Coach Mazen Kayali’s Titans come into the postseason on a three-game winning streak and has have won seven of their last eight, with the only loss coming to No. 7 Rock Canyon. Legend finished as the runner-up to Rock Canyon in the Continental League, which had six of its 11 teams make the 5A playoffs. …The defensive-minded Titans have five 1-0 victories to their credit and posted shutouts in 13 of their 15 games, while they surrendered just four goals (two apiece to Castle View and Rock Canyon). Offensively, 10 players have scored multiple goals, with junior Sidney Armstrong leading the way with 10. Senior Sydney Burskey is next with five goals along with six assists, which ranks second on the team to sophomore Sophia Backstrom, who has eight.

WINNER GETS: The Cherokee Trail-Legend winner advances to the second round, where it will meet the winner of the first round game between No. 26 Silver Creek and No. 7 Rock Canyon. The Cougars and Titans both have lost to Rock Canyon in the regular season, while neither played Silver Creek.

BRACKET: The Class 5A state playoff bracket can be found, here

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