AURORA | A capsule look at the Class 5A girls soccer state playoff first round game between Rangeview and Valor Christian scheduled for May 10, 2022:
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2022 CLASS 5A GIRLS SOCCER FIRST ROUND CAPSULE
NO. 27 EAGLECREST (8-6-1) AT NO. 6 COLUMBINE (11-3-1)
May 10, 7 p.m., Lakewood Memorial Field
BREAKDOWN: Eaglecrest and Columbine have a rare meeting as the programs haven’t met head-to-head in at least 12 seasons. The Rebels qualified for last season’s abbreviated Class 5A state playoffs, where they lost in the opening round to Pine Creek, and have now made the postseason in eight straight season. Meanwhile, the Raptors return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, when they lost in the opening round to Liberty.
EAGLECREST: Ashley McKillips — in her first season as head coach — guided the Raptors to a win in their regular season finale against another state qualifier, Rangeview, to end a four-game losing streak. Eaglecrest — which opened the season 3-0 — finished in fifth place in the Centennial League, which had six of its eight teams make the Class 4A or 5A playoffs. The Raptors have earned their most wins since the 2016 season. …Eaglecrest averaged exactly two goals per game and were held off the scoreboard just five times in 15 contests. While 11 players had at least one goal, the main source of offense came from senior midfielder Haley Esser (7 goals, 5 assists) along with senior striker Favour Akpokiere (6 goals, 4 assists), who both also run with Eaglecrest’s track team this spring. Junior Kelsey Edwards and sophomore Praise Akpokiere each have scored four goals apiece. The Raptors have given up almost the same number of goals they have scored, while sophomore keeper Hannah Flores has had a strong season in the nets and posted two shutouts.
COLUMBINE: Coach Brian Todd’s Rebels won their regular season finale against Green Mountain to snap a two-game losing streak — both defeats came against top-four seeds in No. 1 Valor Christian and No. 4 Grandview — that followed an eight-game winning streak. Columbine finished as the runner-up in the Jeffco League, which had six of its eight teams make the playoffs. …The Rebels averaged 3.5 goals per game as three players tallied nine or more goals in the regular season, a group led by senior striker Riley Kaali-Nagy. She had 15 goals and was joined in double figures by junior forward/midfielder Andrea Iljkic, who had 11 to go with a team-best 15 assists. Junior midfielder Thai Quallich registered 12 assists and scored nine goals. Columbine has surrendered only 11 goals in 15 games and allowed multiple goals only two Valor Christian and Grandview. Junior Adelyn Todd has played every minute in the nets for the Rebels and recorded six shutouts.
WINNER GETS: The Eaglecrest-Columbine winner advances to the second round, where it will meet the winner of the first round game between No. 22 ThunderRidge and No. 11 Fruita Monument, which play at Colorado Mesa University.
BRACKET: The Class 5A state playoff bracket can be found, here