BROOMFIELD — Lily Thimsen and Maggie Hirsch have seen a jump in production in the early goings of 2019 for the Jefferson Academy girls' soccer team.
Which is good for them — and even better for the Jaguars, who hope to rule Class 3A for another year.
Thimsen and Hirsch scored in the opening half to assert control in its heated rivalry game against Peak to Peak, Denae Lamb added a beautiful late goal and an assist, and the defending champs beat the Pumas 3-0 at home on Friday night.
A year ago, Thimsen and Hirsch were promising, young talent on a deep roster. Thimsen had three goals and two assists as a sophomore, while Hirsch had two goals and five assists in her freshman debut season.
Through just five games this season, though, Thimsen is already ahead of her 2018 point total with three goals and five assists and Hirsch isn't far behind with three goals and an assist.
"That's what you hope when you lose a great group of seniors and then you have some up-and-coming strong players and they are developing," said Jefferson Academy coach Denise Sutton, who is sharing head duties with longtime assistant Hannah Wilson this season. "And then you have another great team."
The Jags (5-0, 2-0 3A Metro) made a strong case to move back into the top spot in the Class 3A rankings on CHSAANow.com after this week's victories over sixth-ranked Prospect Ridge and the seventh-ranked Pumas (3-2, 0-2). The win over Peak to Peak was their seventh in the last eight meetings between the league rivals and it also marked 14 straight wins dating back to April 14 of last year.
As for the polls? The champs aren't worried about them.
"It's so early in the season," Sutton said. "You know what we say? You're not No. 1 until you are No. 1."
Thimsen opened the scoring on a well-executed set play in the 4th minute to put the Jaguars ahead. Bridget Lynch's corner landed in front of the net, stirring up a bit of all-out mayhem. The Jaguars took a shot off the keeper and then a defender before the junior headed a rebound into the back of the net.
Later, Hirsch added to the lead on a beautiful feed from Lamb in the 33rd. Lamb floated her ball just over the keeper's outstretched hands and right to Hirsch's feet for the open-net finish.
Lamb then scored herself in the 75th, looping a perfectly-placed shot into the opposite corner of the net from 20 yards out to make it 3-0. It was the junior's first goal of the year.
"The main thing again this year is 'we before me'," Thimsen said. "We want to do good for the team and not yourself."
Added Hirsch: "I think our chemistry is really good so far. It's fun playing with everybody."
For Peak to Peak, this closes the books on perhaps the most brutal schedule to open April for any team in Class 3A. The Pumas came out of spring break with matchups against last year's state title game participants in No. 3 Kent Denver and Jefferson Academy in the span of 72 hours. The Pumas were outscored 10-0.
"I told the kids after the game we found out what we were against Kent and now we found out what we were against JA at this point of the season," Peak to Peak coach Mark Schieffer said. "We hope to stay around long enough to face one of those two teams again when we get down the road to the playoffs."
Next up, Jefferson Academy will travel to face Colorado Academy Tuesday. Peak to Peak will go to Bishop Machebeuf Thursday.
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Jefferson Academy 3, Peak to Peak 0
At Jefferson AcademyPeak to Peak (3-2, 0-2) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) —Peak to Peak: No goals; Jefferson Academy: Thimsen (Lynch) 4th minute, Hirsch (Lamb) 33rd, Lamb (unassisted) 75th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Peak to Peak: Willette (80-3-9); Jefferson Academy: Brown (80-0-4).