The Telluride High School boys soccer team will open the Class 2A state playoffs with a home match this week, after a bit of a weather delay.
The Miners were originally scheduled to kick off the playoffs Wednesday afternoon. But with stormy and cold conditions predicted statewide, Colorado High School Activities Association officials opted to postpone the first round of the soccer playoffs to Saturday.
Thus the Miners, 10-3-2 overall and the No. 5 seed in the 12-team playoff field, will host No. 12 Thomas MacLaren School of Colorado Springs (7-6-0) at Telluride High School on Saturday. The game, subject to final approval from both schools, will likely start at 1 p.m.
“I think we’re right where we need to be,” Telluride head coach Ramon Rodriguez said. He added the Miners are seeded one spot higher than a year ago. And, he said, they are heading into the playoffs with a well-rounded, balanced team.
Telluride closed the regular season last weekend with a hard-fought 1-1 double-overtime tie at Crested Butte, the defending state champion. Telluride was the state runner-up a year ago.
“You had two teams who play solid defense; two teams that take (offensive) opportunities,” Rodriguez said of the duel with the Titans.
“They went up … scored late in the first half,” Rodriguez said, adding that all-state goalie Tommy Wells had a hand on the shot but it managed to hit the crossbar and fall into the goal.
The Miners tied the match on a penalty kick in the second half.
The two playoff-experienced teams battled through a pair of scoreless overtime periods to set the stage for the 2A state playoffs.
Rodriguez said the Miners made solid progress through the season, moving up from No. 12 to No. 5 in power rating as the season progressed.
He said the Telluride boys played well in overtime again this season.
“It’s like overtime is just another period for them; they’re (not intimidated),” Rodriguez said, adding that he was pleased the playoff opener was moved to Saturday.
“It was supposed to be 14 for a high in Telluride (on Wednesday). That wouldn’t have been good for anyone,” he said.
The match will be a rematch of the first round last season ,when Telluride went on to finish as the state runner-up, after opening with a 10-2 win over Thomas MacLaren.
“Now, it’s brand new,” Rodriguez said, adding that the teams are familiar with each other’s playing style after meeting last season. “But this is brand new. We have to go out and do what we do.”
He said the team is looking forward to a home playoff match and the chance to play in front of the home fans.
“The students, the teachers, the staff and the community all have been so supportive,” Rodriguez said. “When you have that, it’s good for everyone.”
Crested Butte was awarded the No. 2 overall seed and a first-round bye in the 2019 2A playoffs.
The Titans (10-3-2 overall, 2-0-2 in league) will play the winner of the first-round match between No. 10 Ridgway (8-3-3) and No. 7 Lotus School for Excellence (9-5-0). That contest will be played Saturday in Aurora.
Ridgway extended its playoff streak to a half-dozen consecutive years with its 2019 qualification for the 2A state tournament.
The winner of the Telluride vs. Thomas MacLaren match will advance to the quarterfinals at No. 4 Dawson School of Lafayette (10-3-2) Nov. 6.
The No. 1 overall seed this year is Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale (10-3-2). CRMS will play the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 Mile High Academy of Denver (9-4-2) and No. 9 Denver Christian (8-6-1).
In the other half of the bracket, Fountain Valley (12-3-0) is the No. 3 seed.
No. 6 Heritage Christian of Fort Collins (11-3-0) will play No. 11 Loveland Classical (11-3-0) in the first round Saturday, with the winner playing at Fountain Valley in Colorado Springs Nov. 6.
The state semifinals will be Nov. 9, with the state championship match set for Nov. 16.
The state final this season again will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, home of the Colorado Rapids of the MLS.
STATE CROSS COUNTRY
Two Telluride High School runners competed in the State Cross Country Championships over the weekend in Colorado Springs.
Freshman Cole Paczosa, who won the regional title a week earlier, and sophomore Ruby Tanguay took to the starting line in the Class 2A state championship race at the Norris-Penrose Event Center.
Paczosa finished just off the podium at his first state meet. The Telluride freshman placed 11th, covering the hilly 5K course in 17 minutes, 29.2 seconds. Senior Isaac Roberts of Lyons won the 2A state title in 16 minutes, 19.6 seconds. Noel Lopez of Rocky Ford was second in 16 minutes, 29.2 seconds. Third place went to Andre Stablein of Front Range Christian (16 minutes, 39.1 seconds).
Paczosa was the highest-placing freshman in the field at the state championships.
Lyons dominated in the boys team standings, winning with 14 points. Peyton was second (38) with Rocky Ford third (56).
Lyons also won the girls team title behind individual champion Quin Gregg, a sophomore. She won in 19 minutes, 24.9 seconds. Teammate Jameison Legh finished third (19 minutes, 58.4 seconds). Lyons senior Katie Fankhouser, the defending state champion, was fifth.
Placing 1-3-5, Lyons scored 9 team points; Buena Vista was second with 61. Golden View Classical Academy of Golden finished third with 69.
Nederland senior Helen Cross placed second (19 minutes, 34.5 seconds) individually.
Telluride’s Tanguay, who qualified for her second trip to the state championships this season, finished 23rd in 22 minutes, 2.7 seconds.
The highlights of the 2019 state championships included a dominant performance by Cole Sprout of Valor Christian, who won the boys 5A title in 15 minutes, 12.7 seconds, breaking his own course record.
Sprout, the No. 2-ranked high school cross country runner in the country, won his third consecutive Colorado state title. He’s a multiple state champion in track as well.
The fastest girls time of the 2019 meet was recorded by Class 3A junior Sierra Bower of Basalt, as she broke the 3A girls course record by 20 seconds when she won in 18 minutes, 00.1 seconds.