COLORADO SPRINGS – Cheyenne Mountain’s quest for a fourth consecutive state soccer championship was met with fierce resistance Saturday by a gritty Holy Family squad in the second round of the girls’ Class 4A playoffs.
The No. 22-seeded Tigers found themselves tied with No. 6 Cheyenne Mountain through the game’s first 60 minutes. But two Indians goals in the span of three minutes dashed any hopes Holy Family had of pulling off the upset in a 3-1 Cheyenne Mountain victory.
“We came out with a lot more intensity in the first half and we really wanted it, but I think (Cheyenne Mountain) stepped up (its) intensity a little more in the second half,” said Holy Family senior forward Olivia Bartoletti. “We brought it to them the first half and gave them a hard game the majority of the game.”
Bartoletti figured in Holy Family’s lone score when she assisted on Katelyn Caviness’ goal at the 30th minute of the first half. It came on a corner kick.
Caviness’ goal tied the score at 1-1.
Cheyenne Mountain got the game’s first score on an own goal by Holy Family just two minutes earlier, also on a corner kick.
“If we would have sat back and let them keep pressuring us they would have gained the momentum, but we stopped that with our goal,” Caviness said.
Holy Family (8-6-1) controlled the pace of play most of the first half, allowing the Indians (10-4-2) just two shots on goal.
“We didn’t let the fact that they are the three-time state champions get to us,” said Holy Family senior defender Shannon Langfield, “We came out and played our style and did the things that have made us successful.”
Cheyenne Mountain stepped up its game the second 40 minutes and kept the pressure on the Tigers’ defense. Jamie Burke’s goal in the 61st minute gave the Indians a 2-1 lead. Two minutes later Burke assisted on Molly Darr’s goal.
“We settled down and united as a team in the second half,” Burke said. “We came out in the second half a lot more thoughtful and organized and relaxed and started to play our game and what we wanted to do with the ball.”
Holy Family was on a roll heading into the Cheyenne Mountain match. The Tigers were 8-2-1 in their previous 11 games, including a hard-fought 1-0 victory over No. 11 Palisade in a first-round matchup on May 11.
“It didn’t matter to us that Cheyenne Mountain was the No. 6 seed,” Bartoletti said. “We came in here with the same mentality we had against Palisade and we played amazing both games.”
Holy Family coach George Connolly was pleased with his team’s effort, despite feeling that his team didn’t catch a many breaks.
“Cheyenne Mountain (mode of operation) the last four years has been its physicality,” Connolly said. “They just beat you up, and if the refs let ’em do it then you’re in trouble.”
Cheyenne Mountain 3, Holy Family 1
At Cheyenne Mountain
Holy Family (8-6-1)
Cheyenne Mountain (10-4-2)
Goals (assists) —
Holy Family: Katelyn Caviness (Olivia Bartoletti) 30th minute; Cheyenne Mountain: own goal, 28th minute; Jamie Burke (Molly Darr) 61st minute; Molly Darr (Jamie Burke) 63rd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Holy Family: Maddie Cillessen 80-3-4; Cheyenne Mountain: Amanda Beach 80-1-5.