LITTLETON — Sophomore goalkeeper Josie Davison may be new to the Monarch girls soccer team but it didn't take her long to make a big impression on her team.
Davison was the hero on Saturday night in a 1-1 (4-3 in shootout) win that kept the Coyotes undefeated on the season and clinched a long-sought-after Warriors Invitational Tournament championship.
After the Coyotes had played to a scoreless tie with host Arapahoe through regulation and two overtime periods in the tournament's title game, Davison found herself staring down a Warriors shooter with a one-goal advantage in the ensuing shootout. The sophomore glimpsed a look that indicated which way the Warriors player would shoot, she sold out, dove and made the game-winning save.
"I was pretty terrified, to be honest, because I haven't been in that situation before," Davison said. "I'm new to Monarch this year and was nervous but I just calmed myself down because I knew I had to step up big. I saw her look into the right corner so I dove and I got there."
Ranking ninth in CHSAANow.com preseason poll, the Monarch girls soccer team rolled through the first two rounds of the 27th annual Warrior Invitational Tournament by defeating Bear Creek (1-4), 10-0 in the first round, and Arvada West (2-1), 3-0 in the semifinals, to reach Saturday's title game. But in the title game at Littleton Public School Stadium, the undefeated Coyotes (3-0) faced a deficit for the first time this season.
Arapahoe (3-1) struck early with freshman forward Audrey Weiss finishing a through ball from sophomore Haley Archuleta in the seventh minute. It was the first goal the Coyotes had allowed in 2016. In the 33rd minute, Monarch's Villanova-bound defender Kristin Barbour stepped up to take a direct kick from just outside the right corner of the 18-yard box. Barbour's drive was deflected by Warriors goalkeeper Hannah Archuleta and after a brief scramble, Melissa Myer knocked in the game-tying goal.
"Arapahoe is an amazing team and I'm so proud of our goals because we fought for every second and every ball and we came through," Barbour said. "We don't get those PK games in the regular season so it was so stressful. But Josie was amazing and she came through big time for us."
In the shootout, Emiko Patterson, Barbour, Taylor Coble and Ashton Hall all made their penalty shots to ensure Davison's save was the game-winner. Monarch will open Front Range League play on May 29 at Broomfield. The reigning 5A runner-up Eagles (3-0) are ranked No. 2 to start the season.
"We've been out here for four years and we've played Arapahoe in the finals for the last three," Monarch head coach Erich Schmidt said. "They've knocked us out of playoff and they've knocked us out of the finals here so it's a rivalry for us. We earned this win and this was a step towards our league coming up."
Monarch 1, Arapahoe 1 (4-3)
At Littleton Public School StadiumMonarch (3-0) 1 0 0 0 4 — 1
Arapahoe (3-1) 1 0 0 1 3 — 1
Goals (assists) — Monarch: Melissa Myer (Kristin Barbour), 33rd minute (Shootout: Emiko Patterson, Barbour, Taylor Coble, Ashton Hall); Arapahoe: Audrey Weiss (Haley Archuleta), 7th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Josie Davison (110-1-5); Arapahoe: Hannah Archuleta (110-1-2).