ENGLEWOOD - The Dawson girls' soccer team waited three days to finish its 2A state semifinal game. It took Cameron Epstein 39 seconds to start the Mustangs on their way to the championship game.
Epstein broke a scoreless game with a goal in the 49th minute, Kaitlyn Day padded the lead with a late goal and Dawson beat Front Range Christian 2-0 on Saturday to complete the semifinal game that started Wednesday.
The No. 2 Mustangs (13-3) advanced to their third straight title game where they will face top-seeded Denver Christian at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday.
"It's fun," Dawson coach John Siegrist said. "Win, lose or draw, the experience as they get older they'll remember, 'Hey, I got to play on the Rapids field.' I'm sure they'll be wide-eyed."
Dawson lost the last two title games to Vail Mountain but was able to get back to the title game with mostly freshmen and sophomores.
"It's a young, talented group," Siegrist said.
The game began at All-City Stadium the night a soggy front moved into the state. The Mustangs and Falcons battled each other and the elements into the early part of the second half before lightning forced a delay with Dawson lining up or a free kick. Inclement weather led to the game being suspended 50 minutes later.
The match resumed Saturday at Englewood High School, and the change of venue worked well for the Mustangs. They didn't score right off the free kick but Epstein knocked in a shot soon after.
"I got through two of the defenders at the 20-yard line, and as soon as I was through I knew I had to take the shot or the goalie would be on me," Epstein said. "We were a little nervous going in because the score was 0-0 but after the goal the atmosphere was even more focused."
Dawson goalkeeper Kate Gallop had to make a couple of key saves after the goal, and Day iced it with a breakaway goal in the 67th minute.
Now the Mustangs will try to do what they haven't done the past two years - bring the title back home.
"It's definitely gotten bigger each year," Epstein said. "After the two losses the previous it's been sort of rough. If we can go into this year with a bigger drive, especially with our seniors, it'll be a big game."
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Dawson School 2, Front Range Christian 0
At Englewood High SchoolFront Range Christian (10-7)00—0Dawson School (13-3)02—2
Goals (assists) —Dawson: Cameron Epstein, 41st minute; Kaitlyn Day (Alex Dunbar), 67th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Front Range Christian: Kami Quinn (80-2-11); Dawson School: Kate Gallop (80-0-9).