LAFAYETTE — In a perfect world, no John Siegrist-coached team would ever lose.
But Siegrist has been around the game of soccer long enough to know that while no loss is a good loss, some can at least be framed in a way that helps a team improve moving forward. The Dawson School girls soccer team suffered that type of loss on Thursday.
In a rain-soaked affair, the No. 1-ranked Dawson Mustangs (7-1, 1-1 Region 5) hosted second-ranked Denver Christian (10-1, 3-0 Region 5) and fell 5-0 on their home field. With a young group and a number of players out with the flu, Siegrist didn't make any excuses for his team.
The veteran head coach didn't set off the panic alarm, either.
"I've got six starting freshmen and you have to get tested," Siegrist said. "With a young group, that has to be a process and we haven't really had to do that yet. When you compound having a young group with girls being sick, I won't stress about it too much about it. We'll just take this as an opportunity to get better and get ready for the playoffs."
The Mustangs truly hadn't been tested until Thursday's game.
Going undefeated through their first seven games of the season, the Mustangs outscored their first seven opponents 55-6. A 3-2 win over Front Range Christian on April 13 was the only time another team came within three goals of the Mustangs before Thursday.
The Mustangs hit the ground running this season after finishing state runners-up to Vail Mountain in Colorado's first season with a 2A classification in 2016.
"Last year, we went out there and we took it to Vail," Siegrist said. "I told them then and I told them today, 'You learn more from a loss.' If you go undefeated into playoffs, you almost do yourself a disservice. If you look at NCAA basketball and the best teams like Duke and Gonzaga, they stack their schedules so they're ready when it matters the most.
"I think our players are young but they have the talent. As coaches, we have to patient because the maturity comes with time. Sometimes a good dose of humble pie can be really, really good for you and the girls responded well to today's loss."
Siegrist said the Mustangs will review the game film and regroup for another tough contest on the road at Clear Creek (4-3-1) on Saturday. Senior Hannah Isenhart leads the Mustangs with 19 goals and 12 assists, and leads all of Class 2A with 50 points, through eight games this season.