League and team outlook
Front Range League
Teams and trends: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Legacy, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre and Rocky Mountain. Broomfield and Rocky Mountain have finished first and second in the league two out of the last three years, and Broomfield has taken the league title four out of the last five seasons, excluding the 2020 season that was canceled due to COVID-19.
2021 league leaders: Points: Julianna Hayward*, Legacy (26); Goals: Hayward (10) and Claire Silverman*, Fairview (10); Assists: Blythe Sales, Fairview (9) and Eve Bleam*, Boulder (9); Saves: Paulina Saldivar*, Horizon (60).
Numbers game: Broomfield didn’t lose a single game last year and only tied one, but didn’t have a single player in the top 20 in 5A for goals scored. Even though the Eagles put up big scores in five games, it was truly a team effort.
* — Eligible to return in 2022.
Coach: Carlos Real
The Scorecard: The Panthers return assist master Eve Bleam from last year and goal master Kaia Holicky, as well as 11 other top players from their roster. They’ll have additional senior leadership from Arden Williams, Caitlin Rogers, Katie McConnell, Ellory Jones and Ellie Miller. They finished 6-4 in 2021 but will be bringing back a good amount of experience with a few newcomers added to the mix to help them compete in a tough FRL.
Coach: Jim Davidson
The Scorecard: After their second state title in school history, the Eagles are looking strong once again. They lost a top scorer in Bella Arreola, but return most of the rest of their scoring core, including 5A Player of the Year Maddie Brady (six goals), Reagan Kotschau (seven goals) as well as upperclassmen, seniors Trayn Rea, Dylan Drennan, Morgan Scheller, and juniors Bailey Giddings, Macee McKenna and Michaela McGowan.
Coach: Steve Griggs
The Scorecard: The Knights come back after bowing out of the first round of the 2021 Class 5A state playoffs, but return their top scorer in junior forward Claire Silverman (10 goals) as well as a whole host of juniors, including keeper Alyson Campbell, Greta Heinemann, Sydney Boyd, Kyla Stroker, Ilise Ziebarth and Elori Crosby. This year, they hope a strong nonleague schedule will help prepare them for FRL play.
Coach: Heather Solar
The Scorecard: The Lightning return after bowing out of the first round of the 2021 Class 5A state playoffs, but bring back their strongest three scorers in seniors Juliana Hayward, Paige Armstrong and sophomore Kendall Rippley, who combined for 26 goals. They’ll also welcome back senior leaders in Westbrook Jensen, Daryn Delescinskis, Kathryn Proctor and Madison Allshouse.
Coach: Katy Wood
The Scorecard: Wood, who very recently took over the program, is excited for a bit of a return to normalcy for the Monarch soccer community. Early on, she’ll lean on senior forward Anna Tucker, sophomore forward Sophia Stalter and sophomore keeper Madalyn Kennedy to help lead the Coyotes. “We have players who lost their houses from the (Marshall Fire),” Wood said. “My deepest hope is to allow them to mend some of their trauma alongside their soccer family and find some peace from their tough reality.”
Northern Colorado Athletic Conference
Teams and trends: Centaurus, Erie, Greeley Central, Greeley West, Holy Family, Longmont, Loveland, Mead, Silver Creek, Skyline and Windsor. Windsor won the league title in 2021 but Holy Family won the Class 4A state title in the end.
2021 league leaders: Points: Annika Kassenbrock, Silver Creek (45); Kassenbrock (16); Assists: Jaelen Giron, Holy Family (15); Saves: Lanie Freeland, Greeley Central (132).
Numbers game: Only 10 keepers in all of Class 4A girls soccer recorded 100 or more saves during the 2021 season, and Holy Family’s Olivia Dietrich ranked sixth in the state with 113 to help boost the Tigers’ state title run.
Coach: Mario Bezzina
The Scorecard: After losing three seniors and two more varsity players to injury, the Warriors will still have senior keeper Paige Sanchez, who made 53 saves while giving up just four goals, as well as seniors Riley MacQueen and Fransiska Blois. Sophomore Nyah Ringer returns a lot of offensive firepower, as she led the Warriors with seven goals as a freshman. Bezzina is confident his team can compete for a playoff spot despite competing in the tough NCAC.
Coach: Jeff Vigil
The Scorecard: The Tigers return just one four-year player in senior defender Kadence Harper, losing lose most of their scoring power with last year’s graduating class. Vigil believes the main returning group — Harper, juniors Leah Price, Corryn Stafford, and sophomores Kayla Kirchoffner and Ella Jimenez — brings back the most depth and experience he has had in his five years at the helm of the team.
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Michelle Griego
The Scorecard: The Tigers retake the pitch after claiming the Class 4A state title as the No. 12 seed and the biggest reason for that crown, senior keeper Olivia Dietrich, will come back for one final season. Even though they lost top scorer Lauren Clingman (11 goals) to graduation, they will be adding senior midfielder Gianna Sandoval (eight goals) and junior middy Anya Moser (seven goals) back into the mix, as well as senior Taylor Fox.
Coach: Patricia Wilson
The Scorecard: The Trojans finished the 2021 season with just a single win, but Wilson is looking forward to what they can do in 2022 with another year of experience and fresh talent in freshmen Jenna Errington, Cielo Gartenmann and Ella Erwin. Those young ladies will have six seniors — Eva Holwick, Lena Morena, Ashtyn Waddle, Madi Schartz, Lindsey Cole and Addison Barela — to lean on as they become accustomed to high school play.
Coach: Shane Adler
The Scorecard: The Mavericks bring back senior forward Haley Williams and senior midfielder Brooke Davis to help lead a fairly young team this season. Williams led the Mavericks with 11 goals last year, but their two next-highest scorers — who combined for 14 goals — graduated in 2021. Mead will also look to junior Abby French, Andrea Higgins, and sophomores Avery Williams and Hailey Grillas for guidance in 2022.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Rob Johnson
The Scorecard: The Raptors return to the pitch with a serious chip on their shoulders after just barely missing out on the 2021 Class 5A state playoffs, which only saw 16 teams play, with the No. 17 seed. They allowed just one goal last year, thanks in large part to now-senior keeper Kara Nelson. They’ll have to find their firepower elsewhere, however, as their top scorers from 2021 — who combined for 30 goals — both graduated. They bring back additional senior leadership in Monet Becvar, Ella Burns, Caitlin Speckel, Cortney Crotzer and Mia Van Leeuwen.
Coach: Luis Chavez
The Scorecard: The Falcons lost their two best scorers — who combined for 17 goals — to graduation in 2021, but Chavez will have four seniors to lean on this year in defenders/middies Abbie Anson, Elizabeth Childers, Maya Nagell and defender/forward Charlee Neb. He looks forward to seeing their growth and development.
Longs Peak League
Teams and trends: Berthoud, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Riverdale Ridge, Roosevelt, Severance and Thompson Valley. Northridge took the league title last season in the Longs Peak League’s first year of existence.
2021 league leaders: Points: Sunnie Yarnell*, Northridge (46); Goals: Yarnell (21); Madeline Borncamp, Niwot (10); Saves: Kylie Bach, Riverdale Ridge (159).
Numbers game: Niwot, which finished third in the league last year, saw offensive production from nearly every player that took the pitch. Of the 18 players on the roster, all but two netted at least one goal.
Coach: Sola Abolaji
The Scorecard: Abolaji takes over the program after the Warriors finished 2021 with a 4-6 record. As he continues to learn the players and their skill sets, he’ll lean on Xitlali Giron Guereca, who netted five goals last season, and Tia Mocelin to help him lead the way. He’s confident that, thanks to their hard work and ambition, the girls will be able to put together a strong season.
Coach: Jenna Machado
The Scorecard: The Cougars begin 2022 after bowing out of the first round of the 2021 Class 4A state playoffs. They lost their two top scorers, who combined for 19 goals, but will welcome back senior leadership with keeper Carly Toothaker, Abigail Young, Grace Crall and Avery Verbeck. They’ll be fielding a fairly young team, however, as most of the ladies have only notched a single season of varsity play prior to 2022.
Teams and trends: Bishop Machebeuf, Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Lutheran, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge Academy, SkyView Academy, St. Mary’s Academy and Stargate School. Kent Denver and Jefferson Academy finished first and second in the league standings in 2021 and 2019, and JA finished third in 2018 as Kent Denver and Colorado Academy tied for first.
2021 league leaders: Points: Kate Runyon*, Jefferson Academy (62); Goals: Runyon (24); Assists: Caley Swierenga*, Lutheran (14); Saves: Kiki Zaharas, St. Mary’s Academy (125).
Numbers game: Of the nine keepers in all of Class 3A that recorded 100-plus saves, four hailed from the Metro League, including Jefferson Academy sophomore Helen Stegner, who recorded 105.
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coaches: Denise Sutton and Hannah Wilson
The Scorecard: After a state semifinals appearance in 2021, the Jaguars bring back a strong core in seniors Morgan Potts, Sydney Spitz, Nicole Sinclair, and juniors Kate Runyon, Allie Jo Kirkpatrick and Helen Stegner. Stegner and Runyon, specifically, served as strong players at keeper and forward and should provide the Jaguars with excellent leadership.
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Kevin Davis
The Scorecard: After finishing 5-5 through the 2021 season, the Pumas bring back top scorer Megan Wagner, who netted 12 goals as a freshman, as well as senior Lauren Hudson, who added seven more. Sophia Stevens, now a senior, should take the top spot at keeper after logging 241 minutes in the net with 33 saves and just five goals allowed last year.
Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Rod Muir
The Scorecard: The Miners will boast a good amount of firepower as Metro League all-conference selection and junior forward Kateri Trujillo, as well as junior middy/forward Zoe Webster, come back after combining for 20 goals in 2021. In his four years with the program, Muir has seen consistent growth from his ladies and is looking forward to seeing what seniors Emory Wheeler, Isabella Rueda, Ashley Dunn, Tara Bayliss, Ainsley Macdonald and junior Ava Stockard can also do this year.
Mile High West League
Teams and trends: Clear Creek, Dawson, Loveland Classical, Nederland, Twin Peaks Charter Academy, Union Colony Prep. In the first year of the league’s existence in 2021, Dawson dominated the rest of the competition with a 12-1 overall record and perfect 5-0 mark against league opponents.
2021 league leaders: Points: Degen Miller, Dawson (102); Goals: Miller (43); Assists: Elise Freedman, Dawson (20); Saves: Stacy Martinez, Twin Peaks (107).
Numbers game: Martinez led all of Class 2A in total saves in 2021, and only two other keepers in the classification hit triple digits. Those two ladies, Lamar’s Julisa Adan and Buena Vista’s Dixie Morgan, made 104 and 103 saves, respectively.
Coach: John Welsch
The Scorecard: The Mustangs will lose top talent in Degen Miller — Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year — but are excited to return a strong senior class of Helen Leon, Kate Epstein, Sophie Sampliner, and Ella Stewart as well as sophomore Lauren Munoz and junior Madison Shaw. They’ll have a nice target on their backs early after taking home the 2A state crown in 2021.
Coach: Alberto Gonzalez
The Scorecard: The Panthers are fielding a team with little experience in the sport this year, but Gonzalez looks forward to seeing the hard work and growth they’re putting in every day in practice. As the younger ladies test the waters of soccer, he’ll rely on Skylee Barry, Trinity Leblanc, Kyleigh McLaughlin, Marina Fortunato, Lauren Dirr and Teaghan Hartman to help guide them.
Twin Peaks Timberwolves
Coach: Zach Klein
The Scorecard: The Timberwolves welcome back experienced players in senior midfielder Elyse Hughes and junior forward Ella Schauer. Klein is optimistic that the team can develop into one of the league’s top competitors as the Timberwolves look to become the first league champion in school history.
Bringing it home: recent state champions
2021 — Broomfield (5A), Holy Family (4A), Kent Denver (3A), Dawson (2A)
2020 — No championship (COVID-19)
2019 — Grandview (5A), Cheyenne Mountain (4A), Colorado Academy (3A), Denver Christian (2A)
2018 — Grandview (5A), Windsor (4A), Jefferson Academy (3A), Dawson School (2A)
2017 — Mountain Vista (5A), D’Evelyn (4A), The Academy (3A), Denver Christian (2A)
2016 — Grandview (5A), Lewis-Palmer (4A), Kent Denver (3A), Vail Mountain (2A)
Point me to the postseason
The regular season ends May 7, whereby teams will make postseason tournaments for all four classifications based on RPI. Playoffs are slated to start May 10, and the finals are set for May 24 (Class 3A and 4A) and May 25 (Class 2A and 5A).