Girls Soccer: Freshman Laden’s breakaway goal sends Regis Jesuit into 5A quarterfinals

Regis Jesuit freshman striker Ava Laden (9) keeps her head up as she races into the heart of the Rocky Mountain defense during the first half of the Raiders’ Class 5A girls state soccer second round playoff game against the Lobos on May 12, 2017, at Lou Kellogg Stadium. Laden’s breakaway goal in overtime sent Regis Jesuit to a 2-1 win over Rocky Mountain and moved it into the 5A quarterfinals. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Regis Jesuit was the trendsetter on a night in which all three Aurora teams left in the Class 5A girls state soccer playoffs won in overtime.

The Raiders preceded Grandview and Cherokee Trail with sudden victories in 5A second round contests when freshman Ava Laden’s breakaway goal netted a 2-1 victory over visiting Rocky Mountain and sent the No. 7 seed into the 5A quarterfinals.

Regis Jesuit senior Karli Eheart traps a ball to keep it in the Rocky Mountain end during the first half of the Raiders’ 2-1 overtime win over the Lobos in a Class 5A girls state soccer playoff second round game on May 12, 2017, at Lou Kellogg Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Junior Riley Parson had the first goal for coach Will Cropper’s Regis Jesuit team, which got past the 10th-seeded Lobos and set up an all-Aurora showdown with Grandview, the No. 2 seed which minutes after the Raiders’ win took down No. 12 Fossil Ridge 3-2 in overtime.

The Raiders (12-2-3) got off 22 goals on goal in the first two halves of regulation, but only Parson was able to get one past Rocky Mountain star goalie Gabi McDonald, who made one particularly massive save in the closing seconds of the first half to keep it scoreless at the time.

Laden ended the game in overtime on a quick strike in which she ran onto a long pass that got over the Rocky Mountain defense, took a deft sidestep with McDonald diving at her feet and slipped the ball into an empty net for the winner.

It was just Laden’s second goal of the season, but a big one as she helps fill the void left by an injury to junior standout Abby Kassal, who has been sidelined for the entire postseason.

Junior goalkeeper Katelyn Martin faced just five shots on goal from Rocky Mountain (13-4) and saved four of them.

Regis Jesuit finds itself with a rematch looking against Grandview, a team it beat 1-0 March 13 in the Raiders’ second game of the season on a Celia Jotte goal in the opening two minutes.

The Wolves (13-3-1) — the two-time defending 5A state champions — had a 36-game unbeaten streak come to an end with the loss, but have gained steam late after an up-and-down regular season. Grandview comes into the matchup with a 12-game postseason winning streak.

The quarterfinal contest is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 17 at Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel


Score by halves:

Rocky Mtn.   0  1  0 — 1

Regis Jesuit  0  1  1 — 2

Regis Jesuit goals: Ava Laden (GW), Riley Parson. Regis Jesuit assist: Karli Eheart. Regis Jesuit saves: Katelyn Martin (5 shots on goal-4 saves)