COMMERCE CITY — Well that escalated quickly.
The Dawson School Mustangs were just settling into their Class 2A championship game rematch with Vail Mountain at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, when it happened.
It was sudden. It was hard to watch and there was simply no return.
The defending champion Gore Rangers scored twice within a 42 second stretch of the 26th minute of play and it seemed to take the wind right out of the Mustangs' sails.
In the most lopsided championship match in state history — at least from a final result standpoint — Vail Mountain won its second straight title at Dawson's expense ... this time 7-0.
"When a couple of goals go up like that, it just kind of falters down a little bit and it is hard to regroup," said firstyear Dawson coach John Siegrist, who was a bit shell-shocked especially after his team went to Vail earlier this month and beat the Gore Rangers 3-2.
"With the expectations so high and then to watch goal after goal, it's tough. But it was a great season."
The big pitch at Dick's played right into the hands of Vail Mountain early on and they were able to exploit their speed advantage to create some wide open runs at goalie Kate Gallop.
But those early chances were wayward and the Mustangs were able to get creative on the counterattack. Hannah Isenhart, who scored all three goals in the first half of the first meeting, twice set up Reana Young-Morrison inside the final third, but each of those times goalie Holly Parker was up to the challenge.
"We made the adjustments and we really have a lot of respect for Dawson. We thought they attack very quickly," Vail Mountain coach Bob Bandoni said. "We knew we were going to have to recover quickly on their counters because they are dangerous, but more importantly we were able to possess the ball."
Second-seeded Vail Mountain (14-2) opened the scoring in that aforementioned 26th minute on a goal from sophomore Emma Hall. She was able to work herself free in the box, shake a defender and rifle a left-footed shot over the head of Gallop.
Still on their heels, the Dawson defense got caught again moments later. Trying to clear, Vail Mountain freshman Anwyn Urquhart made a stop and with one touch was able to spring Tess Johnson — who scored twice in the 2-1 title game last year against Dawson — who again beat Gallop high.
"It was all in the mindset. After we got the first goal scored on us our defense just kind of fell apart and it was hard to come back," Isenhart said. "And once they kept putting more and more goals up, it is just insane how much we lost by, everyone just got really down on themselves."
Vail Mountain would score two more times before the half on goals from Lindsey Peterson and an own goal that slipped through Gallop's hands on Olivia Giaccio's corner kick.
Still Siegrist, who admitted his team was confident heading in having beaten them at their place, stayed positive and tried to keep his girls in the game at halftime.
"What we talk about is just play hard, win, lose or draw," said Siegrist, whose team finished 13-3-1. "You want to walk off knowing you played hard and play as smart as you can, don't make the game difficult.
"But most of all, just enjoy the experience. It doesn't happen all the time."
Vail Mountain added three goals in the opening 13 minutes of the second half, two from Urquhart and another from Sydney Sappenfield that started the running clock.
Vail Mountain 7, Dawson School 0
At Dick's Sporting Goods ParkVail Mountain (14-2) 4 3 — 7 Dawson School (13-3-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Vail Mountain: Emma Hall (unassisted), 26th minute; Tess Johnson (Anwyn Urquhart), 26th; Lindsey Peterson (Johnson), 35th; Own goal (Olivia Giaccio), 40th; Urquhart (Johnson), 43rd; Urquhart (unassisted), 51st; Sydney Sappenfield (unassisted), 53rd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Vail Mountain: Holly Parker (64-0-3), Sarah Evans (14-0-1); Dawson School: Kate Gallop (80-7-2).