LAFAYETTE — There are only a select few teams that have a legitimate shot at the Class 2A state soccer crown.
And the beautiful thing about the states newest classification is that the teams don't dodge each other. On Tuesday afternoon No. 3 Front Range Christian made the trip north to take on No. 2 Dawson in a rematch of last years state semifinals.
The visiting Falcons, who will take on defending state champion and No. 1 Vail Mountain on Wednesday, exacted a little bit of revenge by posting a 3-2 victory over the Mustangs in come-from-behind fashion.
"It went back and forth, back and forth and those kind of games can go either way," said Dawson coach John Siegrist, whose team dropped to 6-2-1 overall and 0-1 in 2A Region 5. "Everyone played well, everyone played hard ... it's just one of those games."
Early on the Mustangs were creative. The exploited the middle of the Falcons defense with nifty diagonal passes that sent their speedy forwards on opportunistic runs.
On the first one, Izzy Rosko set up Hannah Isenhart on a one-on-one with Front Range keeper Kami Quinn, but Isenhart fired high.
She got a second chance just a minute later, on another great feed from Rosko, and didn't miss with the left-footed shot to the far post.
It seemed as though the Mustangs were content to let the score line hold and let their defense do the work in front of freshman keeper Kate Gallop.
But the plan backfired and the Falcons equalized before half with a fortuitous break. Elisa Dean's cross from the corner deflected off the post, didn't go in, but was redirected in on a failed clearing attempt by a Dawson defender.
"You could just see it switch back and forth," Siegrist said. "We just need to work on the little things."
Dawson regained the lead in the 53rd minute. Rosko this time was on the receiving end of a great through ball from Sophie Brussell and finished with ease.
With the game knotted up a 2-2 after a Dean goal in the 64th minute, the Mustangs had a chance to take the lead back with under 15 minutes to play.
Isenhart, who missed several minutes in the second half after a hard tackle took her out, returned and was dragged down in the box and the Mustangs were awarded a penalty kick.
Victims of a 1-0 loss to 3A St. Mary's Academy on Saturday, the Mustangs couldn't capitalize and Lindsey Gallop's shot sailed high.
With new-found momentum, Front Range (5-1-2, 2-0) went on the offensive and got the game winner in the 73rd minute when Kern roofed a shot from distance over the head of Quinn.
"There are a lot of little things that we can be sharper on, especially stepping up to the bal in our defensive third," Siegrist said. "Those goals were long shots, that if we close in tight and quick, we stop that ball. We've got a little bit of time."
Front Range Christian 3, Dawson School 2
At Dawson SchoolFront Range Chr. (5-1-2, 2-0) 1 2 — 3
Dawson School (6-2-1, 0-1) 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Dawson School: Hannah Isenhart (Izzy Rosko), 5th minute; Front Range Chr.: own goal (Elisa Dean), 33rd; Dawson School: Isenhart (Sophie Brussell), 53rd; Front Range Chr.: Dean (Sophie Kern), 64th; Kern (unassisted), 73rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Front Range Chr.: Kami Quinn (80-2-9); Dawson School: Kate Gallop (80-3-10).