BROOMFIELD — There was a crummy memory wedged in the craw of a lot of the Holy Family soccer players’ heads.
That sickening feeling they felt when they bowed out of the state playoffs last season in the first round at Silver Creek.
And for a stretch of time in the second half of their 2018 Class 4A opener against 23rd-seeded Evergreen on Wednesday at Mike G. Gabriel Stadium, doubt crept in again.
But they didn’t let it enter all the way, even after the visiting Cougars equalized in the 56th minute. Tenth-seeded Holy Family stepped it up in overtime and found the game-winner in double overtime courtesy of sophomore Dylan McIntosh. The Tigers advanced 2-1 and will travel to Colorado Springs for a second-round match with No. 7 The Classical Academy on Tuesday.
“When you have a group of guys that believe in one thing, they are going to take you the distance,” said Holy Family coach David Martinez, whose team improved to 12-2-2. “I’ll play any team with these guys, any day, because when it comes down to heart, we have plenty of it and hopefully it takes us through the next couple of stages.”
Holy Family had a chance to take the lead late in the first half after Cole Greany was dragged down in the box. The Tigers were awarded a penalty kick, but Jake Hulquest had his shot from the dot denied by Cougars keeper Keaton Gressman.
It wasn’t until the 50th minute, that the Tigers were able to break through. It was Cody Chavers’ corner kick that was right on the money to an unmarked Abel Campos, who finished with ease to break the ice.
“I’m not surprised. Abel is always a dangerous person in the box when it comes to set pieces,” said Martinez of his senior defender. “I think it comes down to when you have five people who are dangerous; we are a team where anyone and everyone can score.”
Evergreen responded six minutes later on Theo Miller’s goal. Miller beat goalie Liam Burns to a ball at the top of the keeper’s 18-yard box and then beat Campos, who was the lone remaining defender between him and the vacated goal.
Evergreen seized the momentum and a lot of the run of play through the end of regulation, but the Tigers were able to stand their ground defensively and were able to get the game to overtime.
“Everyone was a bit stressed out and we just had to talk it out,” McIntosh said. “And once we regained out composure, we found a way to put it away.”
McIntosh’s winner came midway through the second overtime session and it opened up before his eyes and after running onto a ball from Cody Chavers on the right side, he one-touched Gressman off his line and was able to finish.
“I saw the run from about the 30 line and then Cody played an amazing ball through,” McIntosh said. ” I waited for the right time to just put it past the keeper and it worked.”
HOLY FAMILY 2, EVERGREEN 1, 2OT
Evergreen (7-9) 0 1 0 0 — 1
Holy Family (12-2-2) 0 1 0 1 — 2
Goals (assists) —Holy Family: Abel Campos (Cody Chavers), 50th minute; Evergreen: Theo Miller (unassisted), 56th; Holy Family; Dylan McIntosh (unassisted) 102nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Evergreen: Keaton Gressman (102-2-4); Holy Family: Liam Burns (102-1-3).