BROOMFIELD — The dream season for the Prospect Ridge Academy Miners will continue into the semifinal round of the Class 3A state soccer tournament after a wild 5-4 win in double overtime over the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers.
“This is just incredible, I can’t even describe it in words,” Miners coach Rod Muir said. “We had set a goal to make the playoffs, but the fact we made it and have won three games is just incredible.”
Tatum Abram came through with the game-winner in the double-overtime period. In a chase to get to a loose ball in the goal box, she beat Vail Mountain goalie Carly Lloyd and was able to get a touch on the ball and put it in the back of the net.
“All I’m thinking about is making that one touch,” Abram said. “I was hoping to get there first.”
The goal from Abram concluded a wild game that saw the Miners overcome a one-goal deficit three different times and then have to pick themselves up after allowing a tying goal from Vail Mountain with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
Abram scored the first goal on a free kick that sailed over a jumping Lloyd to tie the game at one in the first half. Taking advantage of a costly turnover from the Miners in the defensive zone, Marley Chappel scored with minutes remaining in the first half to give Vail Mountain a 2-1 lead.
The Miners would tie the game for the second time with Tara Bayliss drilling a shot from distance midway through the second half, only to see Chappel score just minutes after to put Vail Mountain back in front. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Ainsley MacDonald found some room to hit a shot that went into the goal for the third tie.
“It’s happened a lot this season where we get a goal and then we lose one,” MacDonald said. “We kept our consistency and really wanted to show that we could go farther. Plus, being on our home field with our fans supporting us, we wanted to prove that we belong here instead of just being the underdog.”
MacDonald would find herself on the receiving end from a pass by Bayliss and converted for her second goal with roughly three minutes remaining to give the Miners their first lead. It would not hold up as Chappel completed the hat trick with her third goal just seconds after on a defensive breakdown to force overtime.
A quality chance from each side sailed wide in the first overtime before Tatum scored early in the second overtime for the win.
The first run in the playoffs for Prospect Ridge Academy has them sitting as the lowest seed left and facing the No. 1 seed Colorado Academy Mustangs on Saturday at Englewood High School. It is expected to be their toughest test this postseason, but the underdog team is alive with confidence and looking to continue their memorable run.
“It feels amazing,” Abram said. “We’ve been working hard this season. It’s been a great opportunity for us. This is the farthest we have made it. It’s amazing to be able to capitalize and keep it going.”
Prospect Ridge Academy 5, Vail Mountain 4 (2OT)
At Prospect Ridge High School
Vail Mountain (10-8) 2 2 0 0 — 4
Prospect Ridge Academy (12-6) 1 3 0 1 — 5
Goals (assists) — Vail Mountain: Gaby Gish (Sammy Gish), Marley Chappel (Sammy Gish), Marley Chappel, Marley Chappel (Stella Addis); Prospect Ridge Academy: Tatum Abram, Tara Bayliss, Ainsley MacDonald, Ainsley MacDonald (Emory Wheeler), Tatum Abram.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Vail Mountain: Carly Lloyd 98-5-7; Prospect Ridge Academy: Linda Leahy 98-4-7.