The Jefferson Academy girls soccer team is back in the Class 3A title game for the first time since 2015 after a 1-0 win over Aspen Saturday afternoon at All-City Stadium. The Jaguars had lost in the semifinals in each of the previous two seasons.
"We'd lost twice in a row here at this field, so to do it for our seniors this year feels amazing," said junior midfielder Kristen Capan, whose goal sent the Jaguars to the final.
After a relatively sloppy first half in which both teams struggled to string passes together due to the rainy conditions, Jefferson Academy came out strong in the second half, nearly scoring in the 41st minute. Kara Dobbs had a shot saved by the Aspen goalkeeper, and the rebound came loose in the box. Capan was able to get a foot to it, but it was cleared off the line by a Skiers defender.
Capan would get another chance in the 64th minute, however, and this time she didn't miss. After the Jaguars earned a free kick in Aspen territory, Bridget Lynch sent the ball into the box, where the Skiers goalkeeper was able to get a hand to it but was unable to catch it due to the presence of Mira Houck. The ball rolled to the right side of the box, where Capan was able to finish from close range into an open net.
"I honestly don't remember where it came from, but I knew that I needed to keep it low because I saw a wide open goal and I didn't want to kick it over," she said.
Defensively, the Jaguars were able to hold the Skiers to just two shots on goal, both of which were easy saves for Brooklynn Kirkpatrick. Most of Aspen's chances came in the first half, utilizing the speed of Kelley Francis, but the Jaguars were able to adjust.
"I don't know that we did anything different, we just kept an eye on her and kept her marked," said Jaguars head coach Denise Sutton.
Jefferson Academy will play Kent Denver in the final at Dick's Sporting Goods Park at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Jaguars lost to the Sundevils 1-0 on April 14 and they'll be looking for revenge.
"We just need to play our game and play together," Capan said.
Jefferson Academy 1, Aspen 0
At All-City StadiumAspen (14-4)00—0
Jefferson Academy (15-2-1)01—1
Goals (assists) — Jefferson Academy: Capan (Lynch) 64th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Aspen: Trane 80-1-5; Jefferson Academy: Kirkpatrick 80-0-2.
Christoph Ludwig: 303-473-1313, firstname.lastname@example.org