Girls Soccer: Parker’s winning goal in OT caps furious comeback for Grandview against Fossil Ridge

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As Fossil Ridge goalkeeper Vicky Graham, left, stands in disbelief, Grandview senior Taylor Parker (10) gets up after teammates had dogpiled on top of her following her winning goal in overtime of the Wolves’ 3-2 victory over the SaberCats in a 2017 Class 5A girls state soccer playoff second round game on May 12, 2017, at Legacy Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | On its way to winning the past two Class 5A state championships, the Grandview girls soccer team yielded a total of two goals in 10 postseason games.

But this postseason is decidedly different, as the Wolves’ predicament Friday evening at Legacy Stadium demonstrated clearly.

Grandview yielded two goals to 12th-seeded Fossil Ridge in the first half, but responded with three in the second half and overtime in a 3-2 victory that marked the second-seeded Wolves’ 12th straight postseason victory and moved them another step closer to a three-peat. Grandview will face Regis Jesuit — which along with Cherokee Trail also won in overtime — in an all-Aurora quarterfinal.

Juniors Natalie Beckman and Allie Zerr scored second-half goals as coach Tari Wood’s Wolves used the heavy wind at their back to send the game into overtime, where senior Taylor Parker ended it.

Parker’s shot from just outside the goal box hit the underside of the crossbar, deflected straight down across the goal line and coming back out on the field. It created a delayed celebration until the referee confirmed the goal, igniting a dogpile of Grandview players on top of Parker, who had her second game-winning goal of the season following the one she netted against Valor Christian April 27.

The Wolves yielded two goals in a game just twice during the regular season, yet had two put in against them by the SaberCats, who got first-half scores by Bella Alessi and Katie Townsend.

Grandview dug in starting in the second half and cut into the deficit around five minutes into the second half on Beckman’s fifth goal of the season.

The score remain 2-1 in favor of Fossil Ridge until just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation when the ball pinged around in front of the Fossil Ridge net and came out until sophomore Shalom Prince headed it back towards the net and Zerr slipped it into the net for her first goal of the season.

The Wolves continued with the wind behind them and made life difficult on SaberCats’ keep Vicky Graham, but were unable to score again.

Grandview got the wind again in the opening 15-minute overtime and needed just a couple of minutes to net the game-winner, which came after Prince’s long throw in to junior Morgan Szarka got the ball in the box, where it was knocked around until Parker got a foot on it.

The Wolves now turn their attention to Regis Jesuit, which beat them 1-0 in the season opener March 13, a loss that snapped Grandview’s 36-game unbeaten streak.

The seventh-seeded Raiders beat No. 10 Rocky Mountain 2-1 in overtime on a breakaway goal from freshman Ava Laden.

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

(2) GRANDVIEW 3, (12) FOSSIL RIDGE 2 (OT)

Score by halves:

Grandview    0  2  1 — 3

Fossil Ridge  2  0  0 — 2

Grandview goals: Natalie Beckman, Taylor Parker (GW), Allie Zerr