COLORADO SPRINGS — At first, they were going to have to play as foes. But the four girls soccer players from Peak to Peak on the pitch Wednesday night were mighty satisfied the Colorado Coaches Association got things properly squared away.
As Belle Morel put it, she was able to play with “her girls” at the 2013 All-State Game, which put the best players in the Centennial State together for a friendly at District 20 Stadium on the campus of Liberty High School.
When the rosters were initially set, Morel, Brianna Wetmore, Galen Roda, and Ivy DeVries were on separate teams. That quickly changed.
“I was so scared about that,” said Morel, who was participating for the third consecutive year. “I was like, ‘No, I want to be with my girls.’ I’m happy they changed that.”
Though the White team, which also included the talented Broomfield trio of Katie Forsee, Hailey Mazzola and Brittney Stark, lost to the Black squad 3-2 on a goal in the final minutes of regulation, Morel and DeVries contributed on both White goals.
Morel got her team on the board in the 13th minute, tying the game at 1-1 with a strike from 25 yards out. DeVries, normally a defender for Peak to Peak, was placed on attack and added an assist on the second goal — scored by Megan Massey of Mountain Vista.
“It was awesome, a lot of fun to come out and play with all these girls,” DeVries said. “I know some of them but don’t know some others so it was fun to come out and meet new people.
“Belle and I up top, usually I play back with Galen Roda, but (the coaches) moved me up top and it’s nice to have some chemistry and security. I loved it, and especially with Belle. I was honored to spend my last high school game with her.”
Like Morel, there were some others who had been selected in prior years. This was the first time for Holy Family grad Micaela Blanchard, and she relished it as something she won’t ever forget.
The Colorado Mesa-bound Blanchard played on the Black team alongside Holy Family teammate Monica Stokes and Legacy’s Kelsey Killean. There was certainly a feeling out process for everyone, but soon enough the motion that accompanies a group of talented players made its way to the field.
“Coming out here I was a little intimidated because this is the best of the best, but I felt like I fit right in, and that was very reassuring for me,” Blanchard said. “That’s the beautiful game of soccer, you get out there and there is a fluid motion for everybody. That was really cool to see, because you’re seeing players from all over the state.”
“There’s a lot of great players out here, a lot of great players that I recognize,” Morel added. “All of them have their own unique skills, so it was definitely a great game and I was happy to be with the White team. Good opportunities and some good challenges, and unfortunately they were able to get another one late.”
The competitive spirit rode on during the boys contest, which ended in a 4-4 draw after Team Black had taken a 4-1 lead. Team Black featured Boulder High players Lake Brant and Mason Douillard along with Broomfield’s Jacob Bellendir and were coached by BHS’ own Hardy Kalisher (and Battle Mountain coach David Cope). Boulder midfielder Javier Castruita also was named to the team but was unable to attend.
The Boulder contingent witnessed a surge of goals from the White squad — three in the final 9 minutes — to salvage the once lopsided game. The White team included Centaurus teammates Eric Spangler and Sam Esler in addition to Holy Family’s James Elliott.
“I just think it was us learning to play together. First half we just didn’t know each other but once we did we started to see (chemistry),” said Spangler, who will return to Centaurus next year as a senior. “This was my first time but it was really fun. You make a lot of friends. It was also great to play with Sam one last time.”
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CHSCA All-State Girls Game
Black 3, White 2
At Liberty H.S., Colorado Springs
Black 1 2 — 3
White 2 0 — 2
Goals (assists) — Black: Gerdin (unassisted), 5th minute; White: Morel (unassisted), 13th minute; White: Massey (DeVries), 24th minute; Black: Baden (unassisted), 55th minute; Black: Baden (Gerdin), 77th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed) — Black: McGovern (40-2), Hendon (40-0). White: LaValley (40-1), Norman (40-2).
CHSCA All-State Boys Game
Black 4, White 4
At Liberty H.S., Colorado Springs
Black 2 2 — 4
White 1 3 — 4
Goals (assists) — Black: Diaz (unassisted), 4th minute; Black: LyBarger (unassisted), 8th minute; White: Gillis (Young), 32nd minute; Black: Diaz (LyBarger), 60th minute; Black: LyBarger (unassisted), 64th minute; White: Corey (unassisted), 71st minute; White: Castaneda (unassisted), 72nd minute; White: Gillis (unassisted), 75th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed) — Black: Espinoza (80-4). White: Heath (80-4).