Given the current seniors on the Fairview soccer team were only freshmen at the time, the memories of the Knights’ upset loss at the hands of Rock Canyon in 2011 may not exactly resonate very deeply.
But that didn’t make Saturday’s revenge, an event three years in the making, any less sweet for the Knights. The eighth-seeded Knights made certain the Class 5A state semifinals will have a distinct local flavor by defeating top-seeded Rock Canyon 3-2 at Shea Stadium.
The Knights were a No. 2 seed in 2011 when a 15th-seeded Rock Canyon club stunned them in the second round in a penalty-kick shootout in which Fairview coach Stan Jozwiak turned to current Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill to play goalie.
“It was an outstanding effort all-around,” Jozwiak said. “We played without a couple of starters (Saturday) who were hurt Wednesday and everyone really stepped up to put us in good position.”
Fairview received early goals from Andre Miller and Casey Munsch to take a two-goal lead just 12 minutes into the match, but Rock Canyon’s Brian Olcott answered with a pair of tallies to send the game into halftime even at 2-2.
But the Knights’ defense tightened after the break, and Munsch’s second goal in the 57th minute proved to be the game-winner.
This will mark Fairview’s second semifinal appearance in three years, following an overtime loss against cross-town rival Boulder in the 2012. The Knights will meet a familiar foe in the semifinals once again in new Front Range League rival Broomfield, and with Boulder on the other side of the bracket in the Final Four, there is a very real possibility of an all-Boulder Valley championship match.
“We all had a real good year, but it’s pretty random once you get to the tournament,” Jozwiak said. “For us to have three from the Front Range get to the top four, it speaks a lot to the brand of soccer we play.”
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Fairview 3, Rock Canyon 2
At Shea Stadium
Fairview (13-5) 2 1 — 3
Rock Canyon (15-2-1) 2 0 — 2
Goals (assists) — Fairview: Andre Miller (Nate Biesterfeld), 3rd minute; Casey Munsch (Raul Magno), 12th minute; Munsch (unassisted), 57th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Alex Ray (80-2-8).