League and team outlook
Front Range League
Teams and trends: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Greeley West, Horizon, Legacy, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre and Rocky Mountain. Broomfield has won the past three FRL titles, and four of the last five, and has made it to the 5A championship match twice in the last five years. Fairview is the only other team to win the FRL over that span.
2019 league leaders: Broomfield senior Mallory Mooney led the league with 49 points (22 goals, 5 assists) … The Eagles also had the second- and fourth-highest points leaders in graduated players Shaylee Gailus and Lindsay Hudson, who combined for 57 points … Fairview senior Georgia Weeks was third in the league with 29 points (14 goals, 1 assists) … Fossil Ridge senior Emma VanGundy led the league with 137 saves and Greeley West’s Reese Tilton (graduated) was second with 94 … Fairview senior goalkeepers Abigail Mousseau (0.25 in six games) and Hayden Velds (0.667 in eight games) were first and third, respectively, in goals-against average.
Numbers game: The Front Range League has accounted for at least one semifinalist in each of the past six 5A state tournaments.
Coach: Carlos Real
The Scorecard: Looking to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year, the Panthers have a mix of four-year varsity players and talented newcomers. Sophomore Kaia Holicky is the team’s leading returning goal-scorer after netting seven as a freshman last spring and the Panthers have a solid tandem of goalkeepers in juniors Marisa Weygandt and Alex Smith. “This team has the best chemistry I’ve ever had as a coach, the leadership is outstanding, the young players are exciting, hard-working and have bought in to what we are trying to do here from the beginning,” Real said.
Coach: Jim Davidson
The Scorecard: The Eagles were an extremely disappointed side after receiving the No. 1 overall seed in last year’s 5A state tournament only to bow out early in the second round. Davidson hopes last year’s early exit will inspire the team to a deeper run in 2020, which they will eventually enter as the No. 3-ranked 5A team in the CHSAANow.com poll. Senior Mallory Mooney returns after leading the team with 49 points (22 goals, 5 assists) last season and the Eagles also have an exciting incoming freshman class that will add depth to an attacking-minded team that also returns senior Chelsey Stock in the midfield.
Coach: Steve Griggs
The Scorecard: The Knights were third in the Front Range League last season and were eliminated in the second round of the state tournament. Looking to improve on last spring’s campaign, the Knights return a strong attacking combo in senior Georgia Weeks (14 goals) and junior Blythe Sales (eight goals, eight assists). Senior Aspen Anderson, who scored eight goals, is also back. Fairview enters the season as the No. 7-ranked club in the CHSAANow.com preseason poll.
Coach: Luke Meadows
The Scorecard: After graduating a massive group of 2019 seniors who are currently playing collegiate soccer, many figured Legacy girls soccer would be in for a rebuild this spring but Meadows doesn’t agree. “Legacy girls soccer not only expects to have a better year than they did last year, but have their sights set on a deep playoff run and a league championship,” he said. The Lightning went 10-5-1 last season and lost in the first round of the state tournament and returns several BoCoPreps.com all-region players like senior Makayla Merlo, junior Danielle Gonzales and junior Grace Sommers. Coming it at No. 10, the Lightning is one of four Front Range League teams in the CHSAANow.com preseason top 10.
Coach: Troy Tewalt
The Scorecard: The Coyotes graduated 14 seniors last year, so they will be an exceedingly young squad in 2020. With that in mind, Monarch aims to continue improving each day and building on a significant group of talented young players while leaning heavily on a returning core of veteran players that includes junior Addie Lowrie, who was second on the team with 19 points (seven goals, five assists) last spring, as well as seniors Bailey Wallace and Nailah Harpring, who combined for nine goals and five assists.
Teams and trends: Centaurus, Greeley Central, Longmont, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Silver Creek and Thompson Valley. Silver Creek ran the table, going 7-0 in league play to claim the Northern title last spring. It was the Raptors’ second year in a row earning at least a share of the league title and going on to reach the 4A semifinals.
2019 league leaders: Silver Creek senior Alexa Karsel led the Northern League with 61 points (25 goals, 11 assists) and averaged 3.2 points per game over her 19 games played; Between Karsel, Greta Goldsberry (graduated) and junior Annika Kassenbrock, the Raptors finished with three of the top four point-scorers in the league … Northridge’s Kira Villareal, who was a freshman in 2019, was second in the league with 40 points … Mountain View senior goalkeeper Shelby Olson led the league with 137 saves in 14 games … Silver Creek’s Natalie Schauer, a senior, led the Northern with a 0.939 goals against average in 19 games.
Numbers game: The Silver Creek girls were far and away the highest scoring team in the Northern League last season, scoring 95 goals in 19 games. That figure, which was good for an average of five goals per game, was 41 more than the next closest team in Northridge.
Coach: Mario Bezzina
The Scorecard: After missing a playoff berth by the narrowest of margins in 2019, the Warriors are determined to secure a spot in the postseason this spring. Luckily for Centaurus, Bezzina believes the Warriors have a very promising group of younger players to support and interesting mix of experienced varsity starters to enter the season. It also doesn’t hurt the Warriors cause that senior Mikaela Ferraro, last season’s points leader with 14 goals and four assists, is back for the 2020 campaign.
Coach: Patty Wilson
The Scorecard: The Trojans are building the program at LHS from the ground up and have several new additions to the coaching staff that Wilson think should help that cause as she enters her second year at the helm. Winners of one match last season, the Trojans return a solid core of senior starters including keeper Cayman Bachman, striker Emily Billow and midfielder Ava Moin. “We have a new group of girls that are hard-working, enthusiastic athletes and a few legit soccer players returning from last year,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to make some noise.”
Coach: Jenna Machado
The Scorecard: With new coach Jenna Machado taking over this season, there are likely going to be some changes around the Niwot program. Not too many, though, as the Cougars return 10 starters from last year’s team that finished 5-9-1. That returning group includes juniors Kiera Flanagan and Maddie Borncamp, who were the team’s top two scorers last season with a combined 18 goals. The Cougars also have both goalkeepers — senior Quinn Gossett and sophomore Carly Toothaker — returning for the spring. “Our goal for this season is to establish consistency in regard to our commitment, discipline and overall play on the field,” Machado said.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Rob Johnson
The Scorecard: The Raptors have been to the state semifinals in each of the past two seasons and expect to go back, or further, this spring. The reigning Northern League champs are third in the CHSAANow.com preseason rankings and return senior striker Alexa Karsel, who led the league with 61 points (25 goals, 11 assists) in 2019. Also back for Silver Creek are junior Annika Kassenbrock (34 points) and senior goalkeeper Natalie Schauer, who allowed just one goal in four postseason matches last year. “Our goal is to win the league and go deep in the playoffs,” Johnson said.
5A/4A Tri-Valley League
Teams and trends: Berthoud, Erie, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Holy Family, Loveland, Mead, Roosevelt, Skyline and Windsor. The Windsor Wizards are the reigning Tri-Valley League champions after going unbeaten at 9-0 in conference play last spring. The Wizards have won the last eight TVL regular-season championships.
2019 league leaders: Windsor’s Abby Gearhart (graduated) led the Tri-Valley League with 64 points (25 goals, 14 assists) last season … Mead sophomore Haley Williams was second in the league with 50 points (22 goals, 6 assists) last spring and posted those numbers as a freshman … Frederick’s Shelby Smotzer and Erie’s McKenna Harrington were third and fourth, respectively, in points but both players graduated after last school year … Fort Morgan senior goalkeeper Lauren Keller led the TVL with 121 saves in 10 games … Mead senior goalkeeper Brea Encinas led the league with a 0.757 goals against average in 15 games.
Numbers game: Windsor led the league with 68 goals last season but Mead’s 67 scores in one fewer game gave the Mavericks a slight edge in goals per game with 4.2.
Coach: Jeff Vigil
The Scorecard: Erie returns nine starters from last year’s Tigers team that reached the second round of the 4A state tournament and is looking to continue the program’s upward growth. The Tigers also have high expectations for their incoming freshmen and their potential to support a good mix of returning players like junior Madison Tallman and senior Rylee MacLennan, who combined for 10 goals and 15 assists in 2019. “Winning our league is always the goal and we would like to do well in the postseason after winning our first state playoff game last year,” Vigil said.
Coach: J Doehring
The Scorecard: The Warriors will be young once again, with over half the roster consisting of underclassmen. But following a 6-9 season in which the Frederick girls were competitive in most every game, the Warriors are not allowing their youth to limit their expectations. “We feel as if we have closed the gap some and will look to continue that as we hope to find success is some of the close games we lost last year,” Doehring said. The Warriors will have to do that without graduated team leaders Shelby Smotzer and Jacki Castelleo, so players like senior Aria Bragalone (17 points) and sophomore Aspen Jensen will have big shoes to fill.
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Michelle Griego-Giron
The Scorecard: Coming off a solid 10-6 season, Holy Family brings 10 starters back into the mix for 2020. Despite their returning depth, the Tigers are focused on staying healthy and injury-free this spring after they entered the 2019 postseason a bit banged up and weren’t able to find their stride. The Tigers have seniors Julianne Geneser and Sally Napierkowski back on defense and in goal, respectively, and junior Kacy Clements was an all-region midfielder last spring. “We have a very talented group of returners this season and have a strong freshman class coming in,” Griego-Giron said. “We have a great group of girls in the program and we are definitely excited to see what this group can do this season.”
Coach: Shane Adler
The Scorecard: As the No. 12 seed in last year’s 4A state tournament, the Mavericks were eliminated in the first round by No. 21 Cheyenne Mountain, which went on to win the championship. After last season’s early exit, the Mavericks are itching for a return to the postseason so they can get another shot at advancing. With that goal in mind, the Mavericks return eight starters including sophomore Haley Williams, who led the team with 50 points (22 goals, 6 assists) last spring. The Mavericks also have another pair of all-region honorable mention players in sophomore Brooke Davis and senior goalkeeper Brea Encinas back.
Coach: Luis Chavez
The Scorecard: Last spring was a bit of a down season for Skyline but the Falcons are looking forward to rebounding in 2020 with a strong returning team including several key players who were injured. “We will continue to encourage higher levels of positive attitude, work ethic and integrity along with higher levels of pride and accountability to perform at the highest level possible,” Chavez said. Returners Lindrey Schendel, Hannah Levin and Casey Erickson will be key players for Skyline this season.
Teams and trends: Bishop Machebeuf, Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Lutheran, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge Academy, SkyView Academy, Stargate School and St. Mary’s Academy. Three teams — Kent Denver, Jefferson Academy and Colorado Academy — finished with 9-1 league records last season.
2019 league leaders: Stargate School junior Kayla Futakami led the league with 107 points last season, which included an impressive 50-goal total … Colorado Academy’s Mari Annest (graduated) was second with 94 points, Kent Denver senior Annabelle Johnson was third with 74 and Peak to Peak senior Iris Zhang was fourth with 53 … St. Mary’s senior Evelyn Barton led the league with 148 saves in 13 games last spring … Kent Denver senior Mika Fisher’s 0.065 goals against average was tops in the Metro.
Numbers game: All four of the teams playing in last year’s 3A semifinals were from the Metro League, with Colorado Academy defeating Jefferson Academy, 3-0, in the championship match.
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Denise Sutton & Hannah Wilson
The Scorecard: Led by last season’s BoCoPreps.com co-coaches of the year, the Jaguars head into the 2020 season coming off a Metro League title and a runner-up finish in Class 3A. Having now played in back-to-back state championship matches — one win, one loss — this year’s JA group thinks it can continue to build of its upperclassmen’s experience while adding some fresh young talent to fill the holes left by graduation from the 2019 class. Set to play a tough non-league schedule, the Jaguars return the majority of a defensive unit that allowed just eight goals and includes senior goalie Brooklynn Kirkpatrick and senior defender Lily Thimsen. Senior midfielder Denae Lamb will lead a new-look offensive attack.
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Mark Schieffer
The Scorecard: Looking to reload after reaching the quarterfinals last spring, Peak to Peak is aiming for a top-four finish in the Metro League and to make another deep postseason run. The Pumas should feature a solid defense, with three starters returning at the back and with the return of goalkeeper Karinne Walther from an ankle injury. All-state senior midfielder Iris Zhang is expected to lead the attack for Peak to Peak after scoring 22 goals in 2019 and a solid freshman class should add depth for the squad, which returns five starters from last year’s 12-6 finish.
Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Rod Muir
The Scorecard: Prospect Ridge is in its fifth year as a varsity program and is looking to take another stride forward after a 2019 season that ended in the 3A state semifinals. With 13 returning varsity players and strong freshman class, Muir said his team should be strong through the midfield. The Miners also return six of their top seven points-scorers from last year’s balanced attack, including sophomore Ainsley Macdonald (27), Lily Fletcher (26) and Colleen Carrasco (17), though sophomore Emory Wheeler (20) is out with an injury. “We will continue to build the culture and girls soccer program here at Prospect Ridge Academy,” Muir said.
Mile High League (Region 5)
Teams and trends: Clear Creek, Dawson School, Denver Christian, Front Range Christian and Nederland. Dawson School and Denver Christian have combined to win the past three Mile High League (Region 5) titles, as well as the last three Class 2A state championships. Denver Christian won state in 2019, Dawson won the year before that and Denver Christian won in 2017.
2019 league leaders: Between Dawson School and Denver Christian, the two teams accounted for three of the top seven points leaders in all of Class 2A. Dawson’s Degen Miller was second with 79 points (31 goals, 17 assists), Denver Christian’s Kara Amidon was fourth with 65 points (30 goal, 5 assists) and Dawson’s Cameron Epstein was seventh with 49 points (20 goals, 9 assists) … Denver Christian senior Eden Reece led the league in goals against, averaging just 0.567 per match … Front Range Christian sophomore goalkeeper Samara Pirozzi led the league last year with 70 saves in 13 games played.
Numbers game: Miller’s 31 goals in 14 games worked out to an incredible average of 2.2 goals per game, which is more than many teams in Colorado average.
Dawson School Mustangs
Coach: Dave Criswell
The Scorecard: Last season, the Mustangs won their second straight league title and made their fifth straight appearance in the state championship match. That’s a nearly impossible pace to keep up, especially considering the Mustangs will be starting with one of the least experienced sides they’ve had in years. Class 2A player of the year Degen Miller has opted to play academy soccer and defensive starter Elise Freedman is out of the season while recovering from ACL surgery. That said, Criswell said a great group of freshmen is picking up the Dawson system quickly and the senior leadership they have from players like Alex Dunbar, Madison Day and Kaitlyn Day should help the Mustangs build momentum as they try to make another run in the playoffs.
Coach: Mark Mabbett
The Scorecard: The Nederland girls soccer program has struggled mightily over the past several seasons, going winless in 2018 and again in 2019. But the Panthers have yet another intrepid group returning in 2020 and will look to get back in the win column this spring.
Point me to the postseason
RPI will determine seedings for all four state postseason brackets from 2A up through 5A (league champions will get favorable seeding), and May 9 is the final day of regular season competition*. Just 12 teams qualify for the 2A bracket (Championship date of May 27), while 32 teams qualify for 3A (May 27 title game), 4A (May 28) and 5A (May 28).
* — These dates are subject to change in light of the postponement of spring sports through April 5.
Cream of the crop: 2019 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2018-19 class, school )
Shaylee Gailus, Sr., Broomfield; Alexa Karsel, Jr., Silver Creek; Degen Miller, So., Dawson School; Mallory Mooney, Jr., Broomfield; Nicolette Sandoval, Sr., Holy Family; Daisy Light, Sr., Monarch; Kailey Maness, Sr., Legacy; Makayla Merlo, Jr., Legacy; Iris Zhang, Jr., Peak to Peak; Brooke Berdan, Sr., Fairview; Reilly Madden, Sr., Boulder; Izzy Munsell, Sr., Broomfield; Colleen Tyrrell, Sr., Silver Creek; Brooklynn Kirkpatrick, Jr., Jefferson Academy.
Frida Aguilar, Sr., Boulder; Tatum Abram, Sr., Prospect Ridge Academy; Dakota Anderson, Sr., Monarch; Faith Brendefur, Sr., Centaurus; Cara Calitre, So., Boulder; Emily Cameron, Sr., Monarch; Kristen Capan, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Kacy Clements, So., Holy Family; Brae Cole, So., Monarch; Brooke Davis, Fr., Mead; Madison Day, Jr., Dawson School; Liz Deitsch, Jr., Monarch; Katie Dunbabin, Sr., Legacy; Alex Dunbar, Jr., Dawson School; Kate Eggen, Sr., Silver Creek; Brea Encinas, Jr., Mead; Cameron Epstein, Sr., Dawson School; Megan Feeley, Sr., Nederland; Kiera Flanagan, So., Niwot; Lily Fletcher, Jr., Prospect Ridge Academy; Peyton Fox, Sr., Mead; Kate Gallop, Sr., Dawson; Greta Goldsberry, Sr., Silver Creek; Danielle Gonzales, So., Legacy; Emma Hall, Sr., Longmont; Nailah Harpring, Jr., Monarch; McKenna Harrington, Sr., Erie; Molly Hennessy, Jr., Skyline; Kaia Holicky, Fr., Boulder; Mira Houck, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Annika Kassenbrock, So., Silver Creek; Denae Lamb, Jr., Jefferson Academy; Allie Larsen, Sr., Monarch; Abby Lentz, Jr., Fairview; Bridget Lynch, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Linda Leahy, Sr., Prospect Ridge Academy; Rylee MacLennan, Jr., Erie; Sarah Maruyama, Sr., Boulder; Taryn McGinnnis, Jr., Peak to Peak; Alison McNeal, Sr., Erie; Daneca Nelsen, So., Peak to Peak; Bella Pfarr, Sr., Mead; Sunny Pine, Jr., Boulder; Sara Reardon, So., Boulder; Blythe Sales, So., Fairview; Natalie Schauer, Jr., Silver Creek; Shelby Smotzer, Sr., Frederick; Grace Sommers, So., Legacy; Alexandra Sorokach, Jr., Nederland; Chelsey Stock, Jr., Broomfield; Annalise Teasdale, Sr., Silver Creek; Lily Thimsen, Jr., Jefferson Academy; Georgia Weeks, Jr., Fairview; Rachel Willette, Sr., Peak to Peak; Haley Williams, Fr., Mead.