AURORA – The task and the trip were daunting enough, but the Boulder girls soccer team added another challenge to their 5A second round game.
Before the echoes of the National Anthem had faded, Grandview struck. Kendra Gipson’s shot got past goalkeeper Elise Thomason-Larssen just 1 minute, 43 seconds into the game and put the Panthers in a hole.
They had flashes, especially in the first half, but the No. 1 seed was too much, beating Boulder 6-0 at Legacy Stadium on Friday night.
“It’s happened to us three times,” Boulder coach Carlos Real said. “Down in the first three minutes and then chasing the score. Against teams like this they just put you on your heels and it’s tough to come back.”
The 17th-seeded Panthers’ long season ended on a 50-mile trip to far southeastern Aurora, but they didn’t go down without fighting. Senior Alia Mentzell took the ball into the teeth of the Wolves defense on Boulder’s first good chance midway through the first half. She went 1-on-3 but had her shot blocked.
Less than a minute later Morgan Stone had a good chance but that was blocked, too.
“If we would have gotten one of those it would have switched the momentum of the game,” Mentzell said.
It looked like Boulder (10-6-1) would trail by just a goal at halftime but a lob shot by Sara Schlichting in the 35th minute gave the Wolves a 2-0 lead. Against the top seed, it was a big deficit.
“You take one in coming in to start the game and one right before halftime, it just takes the wind out of your sails,” Real said.
The Wolves (14-0-3) didn’t let up in the second half. Beckman was fouled and got a direct kick at the 35-yard line. Her blast rattled off the crossbar and just went over the line in the 51st minute to give Grandview an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
The Wolves weren’t done. Later in the second Beckman fed Caylin Lyubenko as she charged into the box, and the sophomore deflected it past Thompson-Larssen in the 59th minute.
The Wolves tacked on two goals in the final 4:20.
“Like coach said in the huddle, that doesn’t define our season,” Mentzell said of the loss. “We had one of the best seasons Boulder has ever had, and it’s something to be proud of and to capitalize on next year for them.”
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Grandview 6, Boulder 0
At Legacy Stadium
Goals (assists) —Grandview: Kendra Gipson (Natalie Beckman), 2nd minute; Sara Schlichting (Lauren Hollerman), 35th minute; Beckman, 51st minute; Caylin Lyubenko (Beckman), 59th minute; Tori Parker (Lyubenko); Lily Newberry, 79th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Elise Thomason-Larssen (80-6-5); Grandview: Reagan McCombs (40-0-3); Maddie Livingston (40-0-2).