BROOMFIELD — The first match of the season for any team usually isn’t a thing of beauty.
But on Friday night at Jefferson Academy, both the host Jaguars and their visitors from Standley Lake played the beautiful game like they were in mid-season form.
A sterling performance from each side, fittingly ended in a 0-0 draw after two overtimes.
“We knew Standley Lake was going to be such a quality team and we knew coming out of the gate it was going to be a challenge,” said Jaguars assistant coach Hannah Wilson, who filled in after the game for a ailing head coach Denise Sutton.
“I think our girls stepped up, they played confident and composed in a tight game; and in a way that was good for this group of girls.”
It wasn’t exactly the result that the young Jaguars were expecting in Game No. 1, but it is one that they can be satisfied with.
The chances were there and it will just be a matter of time before they are finishing with ease.
If the field was tilted one way ever during the match, it was in the first half in favor of the Jags, who out-shot the Gators 5-1.
Both Michaelah Ingalls and sophomore Mira Houck had good looks, with the ladder Houck’s being denied by Standley Lake keeper Emma Smith.
The chances came fast and furious early in the second half, when the Jags were able to connect passes through the midfield to set up their dangerous strikers. Each time Rachel Schlagel, Houck and Kristen Capan made it look pretty, but they just couldn’t finish.
“We have some really great offensive talent up top, they just kind of need to find the back of the net. The chance were there and we had the opportunities,” said Wilson, the daughter of JA athletic director Mike Wilson. “But their keeper came up with some big saves and I thought that was critical for keeping the game competitive and tight.”
Smith made her best save of the night in the first overtime against Houck. After a beautiful through ball by Capan sprung Houck, Smith came way out to the top of the box to cut off the angle and make the sliding save to preserve the clean sheet.
Smith’s opposite number, Jaguars freshman keeper Brooklynn Kirkpatrick — who many in the JA camp are extremely high on — wasn’t tested too hard, but when called upon made the saves when she needed to.
The best one of the night came in the 51st minute, when she turned away Hanna Hushka.
“We have been scheduling tough teams to become tougher and that’s how we operate and how we build our confidence, tenacity and grit,” said Wilson, whose No. 3 ranked Jags are off until next Friday when they host No. 9 Sterling in their annual JA Shootout.
JEFFERSON ACADEMY 0, STANDLEY LAKE 0, 2OT
At Jefferson Academy
Standley Lake (0-0-1)
Jefferson Academy (0-0-1)
Goals (assists) —
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Standley Lake: Emma Smith (100-0-9); Jefferson Academy: Brooklynn Kirkpatrick (100-0-5).