AURORA — As the postgame huddle broke up and the Silver Creek girls soccer team headed into an earlier-than-hoped offseason, junior Ellen Bramfors called her teammates back.
“Guys, one last group hug!” she shouted.
It was a therapeutic and emotional moment for them after falling in the 4A semifinals for a second straight year. The No. 8 Raptors got back to this stage with the mantra of finishing the job but No. 21 Cheyenne Mountain is moving on to the state finals after a 1-0 win on Saturday.
Silver Creek grinded its way to the penultimate game of the season but couldn’t take the next step.
“It’s a little disappointing but we set the ball forward and hopefully the girls will go further next year,” senior Annelise Vandiver said.
The Raptors (16-2-1) got to the state semifinals with a strong defense and an opportunistic offense. They hadn’t allowed a goal in the first three games of the tournament and squeaked by top-seeded D’Evelyn on Wednesday by taking advantage of one of their few scoring chances.
They couldn’t duplicate the magic in a game that was interrupted by three lightning delays in the first half, each of which required a 30-minute waiting period. The first one came in the eighth minute, the second in the 24th minute and the third just 1 minute, 17 seconds after play resumed.
The idle time disrupted Silver Creek’s mojo.
“The first one was fine and I thought we came out hard but that second one drained us and it was a little bit longer,” coach Rob Johnson said. “But both teams have to deal with it. We just couldn’t get into a groove.”
The teams had to sit in the locker rooms and wait.
“It was really hard to keep your legs going,” Vandiver said. “It was 30 minutes just sitting, not being able to get on the field to do any real warmup.”
The Indians (10-8-0) found their groove more quickly and got the only goal of the game when Lisa Long hit a well-placed shot past goalkeeper Natalie Schauer in the 33rd minute.
“We just got caught flatfooted and she buried it back post, side netting,” Johnson said. “No keeper is going to get to that.”
The Raptors turned up the pressure and nearly got the equalizer in the final five minutes off of a corner but couldn’t finish.
“At the end there we couldn’t get the ball in the net,” Johnson said.
Instead of celebrating there was disappointment but hope for a program that is losing just five seniors.
“Anytime you get to the semifinals there’s a little bit of luck,” Johnson said. “We got here again and keep striving to make that next step.”
Cheyenne Mountain 1, Silver Creek 0
At Legacy Stadium
Cheyenne Mountain 1 0 — 1
Silver Creek 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Cheyenne Mountain: Lisa Long, 33rd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Cheyenne Mountain: Ashley Bertsch (80-0-6); Silver Creek: Natalie Schauer (80-1-7).