LAFAYETTE - Perhaps it is better that it hit down the home stretch of the regular season, rather than during the playoffs, but the recurring illness that has weakened the Dawson School girls soccer team over the past several weeks is bordering on ridiculous.
Since they were dealt their first loss of the season by Class 2A's top-ranked Denver Christian on April 20, the No. 2-ranked Mustangs (11-2, 2-1 Region 5) had won four straight games until 3A No. 6 The Academy Wildcats (13-1, 7-0 Region 7) dealt them their second defeat on Wednesday. Still plagued by a short roster, the Mustangs' second loss of the season came in lopsided fashion, falling 9-0 at home.
"We've had weather and we've had tough opponents, but we're just trying to play well and get healthy at the end of the season," Mustangs head coach John Siegrist said. "Whatever is going around the school, we'll have two girls get over it and then two or three more will get it. We're starting to get to the point where everyone is going to be healthy and it's just in time because we're at the point in our schedule where every team we play is going to be really good."
Led by five goals from senior Alexis Loera, the Wildcats scored in the 16th, 19th and 28th minutes to go into halftime with a 3-0 lead. With goals in the 42nd, 48th and 56th, 76th and 77th minutes, the Wildcats pulled way ahead in the second half to push their current win streak to 10 games.
Mustangs sophomore goalkeeper Kate Gallop made seven saves. Even after being held without a point on Wednesday, Mustangs senior Hannah Isenhart has amassed an incredible 72 points (29 goals, 14 assists).
The 2A state runners-up in 2016, the Mustangs are still building towards a repeat run this season. With just one regular-season game to go, Siegrist said the Mustangs will use Wednesday's loss as a template for how they can improve down the stretch.
"It's really good for us to play teams like this," Siegrist said. "For us coming down that stretch, you have to play against teams where that speed of play is fast and all the players are technical because if you don't, you don't expose what you need to work on. They key is for our players to not obsess about the wins or losses but to think about how we can improve, both individually and as a group, before the playoffs."
The Mustangs will wrap up the regular season with a home game against the Liberty Common Eagles (11-1, 9-0 Region 4), who are ranked seventh in 3A, on Friday.
The Academy 9, Dawson 0
At Dawson SchoolThe Academy 36—9Dawson 00—0
Goals (assists) — The Academy: Alexander Zelisnki, 16th minute; Alexis Loera, 19th; Loera, 28th; Loera, 42nd; Kately Marcus, 48th; Cordelia Hanger (Amanda Stricker), 56th; Loera, 76th; Hanger, 77th; Loera, 79th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — The Academy: Kristine Honomichl (80-0-2); Dawson: Kate Gallop (80-9-7).