COLORADO SPRINGS — The Skyline girls soccer team had a difficult time on Tuesday in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
The Falcons’ season ended in a 7-0 loss to No. 5-seeded Air Academy, which has outscored its opponents 70-7 this season.
The No. 28 Falcons finished with an 8-7-1 overall record after a season in which they finished third in the 4A Tri-Valley League. They outscored their opponents 54-19 during the regular season.
On their home field, the Kadets just proved to be too much for the visiting Falcons.
“They were really good and we played our hardest and stepped it up,” senior midfielder and captain Tanya Schulz said. “We had nothing to lose.”
The Falcons were plagued by injuries down the stretch this season. Against the Kadets, the Falcons were missing starters Deandra Elcock, who leads the Falcons with seven goals, Hannah Truesdale (6 goals) and defender Ellie Leonard.
Senior defender and captain Sadie Stark said the Falcons players who filled in stepped up and played well.
“It’s disappointing. No one wants to lose their final game,” Stark said. “We went out with heart and played the best that we can. We have enough players on our team that can fit in different places. They played very well. I’m very proud of every single player.”
The Kadets opened the scoring in the 14th minute and piled on until halftime, taking a 5-0 lead by the midway break. Falcons sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Kissinger did her best to fend of the Kadets’ relentless 32-shot onslaught, making nine saves in the game.
The Falcons had several close opportunities to get on the scoreboard late in the second half, but Kadets freshman goalkeeper Sierra Daniger thwarted their efforts.
Falcons head coach Kevin Puckett said he was proud of the way his players continued to compete through adversity both against the Kadets on Tuesday and throughout the rest of the season.
“It’s a tough draw. They knew it was a great team and I had just hoped my girls would do what they did, and they fought until the very end,” Puckett said. “We had to put up with some pretty tough situations with people injured. We’re happy. We’ve got a great group of girls and they kept fighting to the very end.”
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Air Academy 7, Skyline 0
At Air Academy H.S.
Skyline (8-7-1) 0 0 — 0
Air Academy (13-3-0) 5 2 — 7
Goals (assists) — Skyline: None. Air Academy: Taylor Braden (Sarah Schweiss), 14th minute; Caren Nelson (Sarah Schweiss), 22nd minute; Taylor Braden (Erica Underhill), 23rd minute; Sarah Schweiss (Brooke Watson, 29th minute; Caren Nelson (unassisted), 35th minute; Sarah Schweiss (Taylor Braden), 43rd minute; Kerstie Waugh (Megan Sammons), 76th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Skyline: Rebecca Kissinger (80-7-9). Air Academy: Sierra Daniger (80-0-3).