BROOMFIELD — The script was written — a losing team last year was headed to the state semifinals in a remarkable turnaround. When Kaitlin Rentmeester scored a go-ahead goal in the 65th minute, it looked like third-seeded Holy Family was following the story to the letter.
But in a cruel twist, No. 6 Glenwood Springs got the equalizer in the 67th minute and then struck again with 2 minutes, 9 seconds showing on the clock to beat the Tigers, 3-2, in the 4A quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
The immediate sadness was palpable, but this Holy Family team made it further than any other in school history, giving the girls some solace.
"We've grown a lot together this season," junior Nicolette Sandoval said. ""I'm really proud of how far we got."
It looked like the Tigers would get even deeper in the playoffs when Rentmeester gave the Tigers (11-5-1) a 2-1 lead. Her shot to the far side off a great cross from Jules Geneser got by goalkeeper Hannah Juul in the 65th minute and started a celebration.
"That's a play we've worked on all season long and we finally see it in our last game," coach Michelle Griego-Giron said. "Those are they type of things we're looking for, not the first pass or the second pass."
Before the celebration was done Sarah Helm scored on a long shot, her second goal of the game, to tie it 2-2 in the 67th minute.
Overtime seemed inevitable until the Demons got a corner kick late in regulation. Helm hit a perfect shot to the far post, and Natalya Taylor headed it in to give Glenwood Springs (16-2-0) the win.
The excitement of taking a late lead might have made Holy Family let up a little.
"We were still fighting for it, but little by little our intensity moved down and we couldn't bring it back up," Sandoval said.
Glenwood Springs took a 1-0 lead on Helm's first goal in the 11th minute, but the Tigers got even when Sandoval's corner to the front was knocked in by senior Alexa Dang in the 38th minute.
Sandoval nearly scored on a couple of breakaways in the first 10 minutes of the second half but Juul made a save on one and the other was knocked away.
Despite the loss, Griego-Giron is not disappointed with the season.
"They came from a losing record last year and to get this far this season, it's a lot to be proud of," she said.
Glenwood Springs 3, Holy Family 2
At Holy Family High SchoolGlenwood Springs (16-2-0) 1 2 — 3
Holy Family (11-5-1) 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Glenwood Springs: Sarah Helm (Devan McSwain), 11th minute; Helm 67th minute; Natalya Taylor (Helm), 78th minute. Holy Family: Alexa Dang (Nicolette Sandoval), 38th minute; Kaitlin Rentmeester (Jules Geneser), 65th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Glenwood Springs: Hannah Juul (80-2-6); Holy Family: Sally Napierkowski (80-3-6)