In all likelihood, they didn’t call down the thunder.
But on Selection Sunday, May 7, that’s what Telluride girls’ soccer got.
And though plenty pumped to receive a spot in the 2023 CHSAA Class 2A State Tournament, THS was paired for first-round play with possibly the most resolute, proven program any chosen squad could have been. Seeded 13th in the 16-team bracket, the Lady Miners will put their season on the line Friday afternoon in Lafayette against two-time defending state champion Dawson School. Initially set for 4:30 p.m., kickoff has been bumped up to 1 p.m.
Before suffering a shocking late-season setback, losing 7-1 on May 6 at Thornton-based 3A Stargate School, the Lady Mustangs had won five straight matches by a combined 42-1 margin. Rulers of three of the past four tournaments (there wasn’t one in 2020 due to the pandemic), Dawson’s only other losses came back on April 20 against Highlands Ranch SkyView Academy (0-5), and on April 15 at Westminster Flatirons Academy (2-3). Otherwise, the 4-seed Lady Mustangs (now 12-3 overall) went unbeaten and stampeded through their Mile High-West rivals.
Seeded No. 1, SkyView (15-0 overall) won the Mile High-East — via a 3-2 win over Denver Christian — and will begin the tournament hosting No. 16 Bruce Randolph School (10-3) from Denver. FA (10-3), meanwhile, finished third in the East, received the No. 3 seed, and will host No. 14 Colorado Rocky Mountain School (7-5, 4-0 Intermountain-North) out of Carbondale.
The Telluride-Dawson winner will then face either No. 5 Colorado Springs Fountain Valley or Littleton Front Range Christian — slated to square off at 3 p.m. — at noon Saturday. Seeded No. 12, the Lady Falcons (6-7-1 overall) had wrapped up their regular-season work falling 7-0 at home to, ironically, non-league FV (11-2).
DID YOU KNOW: Since CHSAA officially added, in 2015, a Class 2A to its 3A/4A/5A girls’ soccer structure, Dawson School has played in all seven contested 2A State Championship matches. After losing the grand finale to Vail Mountain in both ’15 and ’16, and in 2017 to Denver Christian, the Lady Mustangs defeated DC in ’18 to finally win the title.
DC then won the 2019 crown via penalty kicks after scoreless regulation and overtime play, but Dawson reclaimed the throne in ’21 (15-4 over Telluride) and continued reigning through ’22 (3-0 over Crested Butte) and into ’23.
Going into Friday’s tussle with THS, Dawson School stands 101-29-2 overall since the start of the 2015 campaign. During the same span, Telluride has compiled a 74-40-6 mark.
LADIES’ LAX SIGNS OFF: Extracting one last win from four final outings, Telluride girls’ lacrosse finished the fast-moving spring standing 5-9 overall and a fourth-place 3-5 in the 4A Mountain-West.
But after road losses at state tournament-qualifying crews Durango and Carbondale Roaring Fork, plus a more-competitive loss at state-bound Gypsum Eagle Valley — which won 15-7 after leading just 8-5 at halftime — in between, the Lady Miners closed up shop May 6 with a 14-10 home win over Frisco-based Summit.
Sophomore Molly Wagner scored four goals to pace THS, and equaled Lady Tiger junior Ella Rader’s game-high count. THS juniors Charlotte Katz and Maeve Stetina each tallied three goals, as did sophomore Lilly Sommers, and freshman McKenzie Kress scored once. Sophomore Wesley Young was credited with two assists and junior Breton Hampton one.
Senior goalkeeper Sophie Sheppard made six saves and earned the win in net for Telluride.
Junior Chloe Nicholds registered three goals in defeat for SHS (1-14, 0-10 4A Mountain-East), which had finally tasted victory just the previous afternoon via a 9-5 win at Montrose (0-12, 0-8 Mountain-West).
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