FORT COLLINS – After winning by three goals during the regular season, the Fairview girls soccer team knew it would be harder to beat Front Range League rival Rocky Mountain a second time in 2019.
In the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs at French Field on Friday night, the No. 8 Rocky Mountain Lobos (12-4-1) proved the No.9 Fairview girls (12-4-1) right to be wary of the rematch by dealing them a 1-0 loss and eliminating them from the postseason field. Adding an air of déjà vu to the defeat, it was the same result in the exact same second-round seeding matchup between the teams in last year’s state tournament.
“That 4-1 score line was deceiving from the way the game played, and I think they’d say the same thing,” Knights head coach Steve Griggs said of their previous season matchup just weeks ago. “We left that game thinking they were the toughest team we’d play in the Front Range League. So we didn’t underestimate them at all. They just brought it tonight so credit to them.”
It was Rocky Mountain senior Madi Hand who dealt the Knights the familiar heartbreaker on Friday.
With just four seconds remaining in the first half, Hand fired a desperate shot towards the front post from the left side. Knights goalkeeper Hayden Velds met the ball just in front of the post but it still squeaked through her hands and into the net.
“There just wasn’t much flow for us,” Griggs said. “The whole game was a tough battle in the midfield and we didn’t have as much success as they did. But the girls battled to the end and never gave up so they deserve all the credit for putting together such a great season. We just couldn’t keep it going tonight.”
The Knights defeated the Lobos, 4-1, in the teams’ first meeting of the season on April 2. After winning the rematch, the Lobos will face No. 16 Rock Canyon (14-3), which upset No. 1 Broomfield (15-2) on Friday, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Rocky Mountain 1, Fairview 0
At French Field
Fairview (12-4-1) 0 0 – 0
Rocky Mountain (12-4-1) 1 0 – 1
Goals (assists) – Rocky Mountain: Madi Hand (unassisted), 40th minute.
Goalkeepers (min-ga-saves) – Fairview: Hayden Velds (80-1-7); Rocky Mountain: Tori Richie (80-0-6).