AURORA -- It was an abrupt and sudden end to Fairview's soccer season Wednesday night, yet the setback did little to diminish what was an exceptional, and somewhat surprising, year by the Knights.
Few expected Fairview to contend for the Front Range League championship, let alone a state title, after losing a stellar senior class from the 2011 campaign. That group was highlighted by Shane O'Neill, who scored 19 goals as a senior and signed with the Colorado Rapids early this summer, but Fairview also lost a number of its other top point-producers, including Amos Nash and Ollie Gerland, both of whom recorded six goals. (Nash also led the '11 Knights with seven assists.)
Even without those players, though, coach Stan Jozwiak developed a three-pronged offense paced by Eric Kronenberg, Jack Mayfield, and Nick Porter, a group that finally was shut down Wednesday by Boulder in the Knights' season-ending 1-0 overtime defeat in the Class 5A state semifinals.
That trio combined to score 34 of the Knights' 41 goals this season, leading Fairview to a 14-4-1 mark and a third-place finish in the FRL.
"I'm real proud of what these guys are," said Jozwiak, whose club fell one win short of notching the program's first berth in the title match since 1984. "When we started the season, we weren't thinking much about the playoffs. These kids came a huge distance in terms of their growth this year."
Jozwiak, who just completed his 32nd season as the head man at Fairview, will be looking at another daunting reloading project for next year. Kronenberg and Mayfield, who shared the team lead with 13 goals apiece, will be gone, as will a defensive core led by senior Jackson Wojociechowski.
Among the scheduled returnees are junior goalie Alan Scheuermann (who almost single-handedly kept Fairview in the game during the first half against Boulder), possessing midfielder Raul Magno, and Porter. However Porter, a sophomore, could be lured away by various club opportunities.
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