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Girls soccer: Dawson School’s season ends in heartbreaking fashion

Facing off against Denver Christian once again, Mustangs come up just short in 2A title game

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Degan Miller puts a juke on Abi Clark during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Alex Dunbar takes a shot on goal during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Estasia McGlothlin fights for the ball with Katie Ammon during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Dawson School's Alex Dunbar moves the ball past Kaya Schaap during the Class 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian in May.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Degen Miller heads the ball over Isabel Scadden during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Cameron Epstein fights for the ball with Sophie Bull during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School's Cameron Epstein takes a shot on goal during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Alexander Dawson School goalkeeper Kate Gallop misses a save in a double overtime shootout during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 1-0 in a double overtime shootout.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Dawson School's Alex Dunbar, right, shows her emotions as she hugs goalkeeper Kate Gallop after the Mustangs came up short in the Class 2A state title game against Denver Christian. The Mustangs, however, won a team trophy in the sport for the fifth consecutive season.

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COMMERCE CITY — Every year since Class 2A girls soccer became a thing in 2015, the Dawson School Mustangs have been right there at the end.

The Mustangs lost by a goal to Vail Mountain in the classification’s inaugural championship match and were dealt a lopsided defeated by the same squad in 2016. In 2017, the Dawson girls lost by a goal to Denver Christian and then rebounded to claim their first state title with a 3-2 victory over the Thunder in 2018.

When the 2019 title tilt began at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday, they were right back in the mix for the fifth straight year. At the end of a rematch of the past two state championship games, Denver Christian took home the trophy with a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks.

“I am completely proud of this team,” Dawson head coach Dave Criswell said. “Kudos to Denver Christian. We try to reflect on the successes we’ve had and I heard a saying over the weekend that I shared with them, ‘Go to sleep like you’re number one and wake up ready to work like you’re number two.’ We just wanted to come out and play our hardest, and that’s what we did today.

“One game does not define our season, just like it hasn’t defined our seasons in the past. I’m just really proud of our kids.”

Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
Dawson School’s Cameron Epstein fights for the ball with Sophie Bull during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Dawson lost 4-2 on penalty kicks after two overtimes did not produce a winning goal. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

The Mustangs (11-4) dominated the play for the majority of Tuesday’s title game but simply could not find a way to push across a goal against the Thunder (16-2) despite entering the game averaging 6.4 goals per game. Sophomore Degen Miller, who took the field as the second leading point-scorer in 2A with 31 goals and 17 assists, was injured and had to be carried off the field with 31 minutes, 28 seconds left in the second half.

Miller returned after missing 11 minutes, but the game still stretched through two 15-minute overtime periods and into penalty kicks. After the teams traded makes, Denver Christian goalkeeper Eden Reece, who made an incredible 13 saves in the game, saved the Mustangs’ final two shots.

“Eden is one hell of a keeper,” Criswell said. “She kept them in the game and despite all the chances we have, sometimes they just don’t go in. There must have been eight or nine kind of game-saving saves. She just does a fantastic job and their whole team played hard. They came out on top so you’ve got to hand it to them.”

The Mustangs won a regular-season meeting between the two teams, 2-1 on April 18.

Class 2A State Championship
Denver Christian 0, Dawson School 0
Denver Christian wins on PKs, 4-2
At Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Dawson School (11-4)  0 0 0 0 — 0
Denver Christian (16-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Goals (penalty kick makes) —Dawson School: Fitzgerald, Borger; Denver Christian: E. Reece, H. Reece, Amidon, Schaap.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Dawson School: Kate Gallop (110-0-5); Denver Christian: Eden Reece (110-0-13).

Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
Dawson School’s Alex Dunbar takes a shot on goal during the CHSAA 2A State Championship game against Denver Christian on Tuesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.