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Holy Family defense stymies Thompson Valley girls soccer in first round of state tournament

No. 5 seed Eagles suffer defeat at Ray Patterson Stadium

The Thompson Valley girls soccer team commenced 2021’s state tournament on Wednesday boasting favorable first-round seeding.

Following a 9-1 regular season, the Eagles entered Ray Patterson Stadium constituting 4A’s No. 5 squad upon welcoming No. 12 Holy Family to Loveland. But forget labels for a second, because it certainly wasn’t as if coach Randy Chase’s team expected a cakewalk into the quarterfinals.

Amounting to a tightly contested battle, the Tigers waltzed into the postseason affair owning 4A’s top goals-against average –– having allowed a mere three tallies in nine contests with Texas Tech signee Olivia Dietrich in net.

And unfortunately for TV, despite enjoying more than six goals per game beforehand, Holy Family’s air tight defense prevailed over the hosts’ typically high-powered attack while seizing a 3-0 victory.

“They did a really great job at anticipating all of our passes,” junior captain Marit Klagge said. “I just feel like they are a really good team, and they’ve obviously played together for a while. They’re really well-coached, and they saw what we were going to do before we could even get on top of it. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the other team, and their keeper especially. Her saves were just insane.”

As the visitors kept their perfect, now 8-0 record when scoring at least one goal intact, the Eagles struggled to produce any promising offensive chances throughout the clash. In fact, the action required Holy Family’s keeper to corral a mere five saves.

Though the Tigers’ defense and ability to win midfield balls enabled Holy Family to dictate the pace, TV happened to nearly dent the scoreboard on one notable occasion.

While facing a 1-0 deficit with about 23 minutes remaining, Klagge –– the Eagles’ leading scorer –– rifled a dazzling free-kick precisely between the posts from about 10 yards deep of Holy Family’s goalie box.

Klagge successfully placed the uncontested boot over Dietrich’s head and off the inside of the crossbar. However, the ball deflected straight onto the white chalk and into the keeper’s hands.

Oh so close.

“I was just trying to hit it with as much force as I could and put it on frame,” Klagge described. “All of us that split second were thinking we tied it up. And those things can change the game. But we saw the ref’s call, and you just have to respect that and move on.”

Shortly following Klagge’s free-kick, Holy Family junior Addison Kusek provided the icing on the cake via twisting one past TV’s diving keeper around the 16:00 mark of the final half.

Nonetheless, all Holy Family needed was one goal to advance in the 4A playoffs –– which it obtained three minutes into the match.

Evidently, defense won Wednesday’s battle at Ray Patterson Stadium as the Tigers sent TV’s all-around adequate squad home packing.

“It’s tough, but I’m really proud of these guys because they played hard every single minute,” Chase said. “They kept their heads up and kept going for it. And we have only one person leaving our ranks next year. So we have a full team coming back and a lot of time to work on some really great things. Last year they had no season, and this season they got into state. So it was a phenomenal year, and they should be proud of that.”