HIGHLANDS RANCH | Part of the Cherokee Trail girls soccer team’s continued ascent into the top tier in Class 5A requires it to play well against elite teams.
The Cougars did just that against one of the state’s regular powers — Mountain Vista — on Friday afternoon, but the Golden Eagles got a fortuitous bounce and took advantage on their way to a 1-0 victory in a Class 5A girls state soccer second round playoff game at Shea Stadium.
Eleventh-seeded Cherokee Trail pushed the pace in the opening minutes and played toe-to-toe with sixth-seeded Mountain Vista, but couldn’t come up with the equalizer after Cydney Billups scored for the Golden Eagles off a rebound late in the first half. Coach Jeremy Schaller’s Cougars finished the season 12-2-2, with their only losses coming to Mountain Vista and undefeated and top-seeded Grandview.
The Golden Eagles (13-3-1) advance to the quarterfinal round and will take on 14th-seeded Arapahoe, which knocked off third-seeded Regis Jesuit 3-2.
The lone goal of the game came with just over 12 minutes left in the opening half, when Mountain Vista’s Savannah Mills got into the Cherokee Trail end and stung a shot on the run that struck the goal post to the right of Cougars goalkeeper Taylor Heil and ricocheted right in front to Billups, who put it into the net.
Cherokee Trail was unable to get the equalizer as it got shut out for the first time all season.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
(6) MOUNTAIN VISTA 1, (11) CHEROKEE TRAIL 0
Score by halves:
Cherokee Trail 0 0 — 0
Mountain Vista 1 0 — 1
First half — Mountain Vista: Cydney Billups