PARKER | On a miserable day for soccer, Cherokee Trail saw its unbeaten season get swept away Friday afternoon.
Fighting a frigid wind and a talented Rock Canyon squad, the Cougars allowed four second-half goals in a 5-2 non-league loss at Sports Authority Stadium that dropped them to 4-1-1 on the season.
Taylor Burton and Lexi Clark scored second-half goals for Cherokee Trail, which came in ranked No. 8 in Class 5A in the Denver Post’s coaches poll. Rock Canyon, ranked No. 7, improved to 1-0-1.
Goalie Marisa Kowalchuk made six saves for the Cougars, including back-to-back stops from point blank range in the first half to keep the game scoreless into the closing minutes. The Jaguars got a fortunate bounce to get on the scoreboard when Katherine Wood popped a ball up from the wing into a gusting wind that hopped high and deflected off a Cherokee Trail defender into the net.
Coach Jeremy Schaller’s Cougars had their best chance to tie the score 10 minutes into the second half, when Madison Mayrose was taken down in front of the goal box and a penalty kick was awarded. Burton took the kick, but Rock Canyon goalkeeper Julia Henning dove to her left and pushed the attempt wide.
Three minutes later, Burton netted the tying goal — her fourth of the season — with a long free kick that took a hop past Henning and ended up in the net.
Just four minutes later, Kaycie Young put the Jaguars back in front and Paige VonBank made it 3-1.
Cherokee Trail had a glimmer of hope when Clark drilled home a loose ball that came off a Rock Canyon defender’s head as she tried to clear a corner kick serve, but just 30 seconds later Wood scored a legitimate goal on the other end to again make it a two-goal game in the 74th minute.
Rebecca Pousma added another two minutes later for the Jaguars to make the final margin three goals.
Cherokee Trail’s next game is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 6 against Boulder.
Notes: Cherokee Trail’s loss — plus Hinkley’s 9-2 loss to Loveland — leaves only two Aurora teams in the unbeaten ranks. Eaglecrest and Smoky Hill are both 3-0-1.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
ROCK CANYON 5, CHEROKEE TRAIL 2
Score by halves:
Cherokee Trail 0 2 — 2
Rock Canyon 1 4 — 5
First half: Rock Canyon — Katherine Wood, 35th minute
Second half: Cherokee Trail — Taylor Burton, 53rd minute; Rock Canyon — Kaycie Young, 57th minute; Rock Canyon — Paige VonBank, 71st minute; Cherokee Trail — Lexi Clark, 74th minute; Rock Canyon — Wood, 74th minute; Rock Canyon — Rebecca Pousma, 76th minute