The Fairview boys soccer team is off to a flying start to the 2017 postseason, and the Knights are already playing their way through a number of compelling storylines.
Having shut out No. 20 Lakewood in the first round and upset the No. 4 defending champion Boulder Panthers on Wednesday night, the No. 13 Fairview Knights are the lowest seed remaining in the Class 5A state tournament. On Saturday, the Knights will look to keep it rolling against No. 5 Grandview in the state quarterfinals.
"It has been quite a ride all season for this group," Knights head coach Jeff Frykholm said. "We lost 17 seniors from last year's group that had a lot of experience. Going into the playoffs, we suffered a pretty humiliating loss to Boulder that made us take a step back and refocus. Our guys have trained exceptionally well and have been super focused since then. It has been a really fun couple of weeks going from about as low as a team can be to winning two games in the playoffs. It really feels like it's all coming together at the right time."
In Class 4A, local teams are still alive in three of Saturday's four quarterfinals.
As the No. 3 overall seed, the Niwot Cougars will host their third straight home playoffs game when No. 6 Denver North comes to town. No. 7 Centaurus will also play at home again when the Warriors host No. 15 Littleton. No. 8 Skyline will travel to Colorado Springs with the daunting task of trying to knock off top-seeded Air Academy on the road.
For Niwot, the Cougars are expecting to have starting goalkeeper Mario Munoz back in the lineup, provided he doesn't suffer any setbacks in his recovery from a concussion. That move would slide leading scorer Manuel Tapia out of goal and back up top where he can improve the Cougars' attack.
"We're excited about it," Niwot coach Stephen Dimit said. "We're getting healthier and we're playing well, and playing at home is always great. I think this is Niwot's first quarterfinal in a while so we're really looking forward to it."
In Class 3A, No. 1 seed Jefferson Academy keeps rolling along after a second-round win over local rival Peak to Peak on Tuesday. Last year's runners-up will look to stay hot against No. 8 Liberty Common on Saturday.