GREENWOOD VILLAGE - Nothing could deny the Fairview girls soccer team Friday. Not a two-hour bus ride through rush-hour traffic, not a slow start or an early goal.
The Knights were confident and resilient, and they used those things to pull off a big upset in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Fairview tied the game early in the second half, hit the crossbar in both overtimes before prevailing in penalty kicks 5-4 to beat the top-seeded Bruins 2-1.
Mannon Frykholm hit the go-ahead shot before freshman goalkeeper Hayden Velds made a diving stop on Elle Gill's last attempt and set off a Fairview celebration.
"I aged quite a bit," Knights coach Jeff Frykholm said. "Crossbar on one end, crossbar on the other end. I'll remember this game for a long, long time. It was a great high school soccer game."
Fairview will now face Broomfield in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
It was a memorable and fitting finish for the Knights (13-4) to reach the next round and avenge a 2-1 loss to Cherry Creek here on March 11. The Bruins (15-1-1) struck first when Gill's header off a corner in the fifth minute made it 1-0.
Instead of folding, Fairview started carrying the play and tied it on Tea Smith's shot from 35 yards out in the 55th minute.
"There's been a lot of games where we've come back," Smith said. "It really shows we can do it. We trust ourselves."
There were missed chances that could have ended it in regulation but each goalkeeper made some big saves. Then Smith rang a shot off the crossbar in the 82nd minute and again in the 108th minute that would have given the Fairview the win.
It looked like the Knights were going to be unlucky, but they didn't wallow.
"Those thoughts creep into your mind but Jeff was telling us before the game that we can't have any doubt," Smith said.
They carried that into the shootout where Skylar Anderson, Aspen Anderson, Smith, Sarina Russ and Mannon Frykholm made it 5-4. Velds studied Gill for a tell, and it paid off.
"I started to look at the way she opened up her hips when she started stepping back so I used that to decide where I was going to go," Velds said.
She made the big save and sent the Knights to the quarterfinals after ousting the No. 1 seed with a gutty win.
"It shows what kind of people we are and what we're willing to do to get there," Smith said.
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Fairview 2, Cherry Creek 1 (5-4 SO)
At The Stutler BowlFairview (13-4-0)010 0—2 (5)
Cherry Creek (15-1-1)1000—1 (4)
Goals (assists) — Fairview: Tea Smith (Julie Masciarelli), 55th; Cherry Creek: Elle Gill (Meg Halvorson), 5th.
Shootout — Fairview: Skylar Anderson (goal), Aspen Anderson (goal), Masciarelli (miss), Smith (goal), Sarina Russ (goal), Mannon Frykholm (goal); Cherry Creek: Sophie Grimm (miss, Libby Geraghty (goal), Lydia Walker (goal), Meg Halvorson (goal), Kaitlyn Glover (goal), Gill (save).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Hayden Velds (115-1-9); Cherry Creek: Mia Raben (115-1-9).