The Telluride High School girls soccer team, following a late-season surge, opened the Class 2A state playoffs Tuesday with a spirited 2-1 victory over visiting Front Range Christian School of Littleton.
Playing in front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd, the Miners dominated the match as the No. 8 seed in the 12-team playoff field.
Telluride’s Justus Tudor scored in the first half after collecting a rebound in front of the Front Range Christian goal. Samantha Morrell scored in the second half for Telluride. Front Range Christian, the No. 9 tournament seed, scored late for the final 2-1 margin.
“The girls did a really good job … everybody did a good job,” said Telluride head coach Vidal Cubero Sobrados.
He said the Miners’ defense controlled the attacks from the Falcons, limiting their shots on goal to less than a half-dozen.
Telluride, meanwhile, pressured Front Range Christian with a barrage of shots.
“Justus scored in the first half on a follow. She finished it,” Vidal said, adding that Morrell also converted a second-half scoring opportunity for the Miners.
“We have a really solid defense,” he said. “They did well.”
The Telluride girls soccer team improved to 12-4-0 with Tuesday’s playoff victory. Front Range Christian ended its season at 11-5-1.
The Miners advance to the Class 2A state quarterfinals and a Friday match at No. 1 overall seed Denver Christian (13-2-0).
The Miners are more than excited about challenging No. 1.
“We do play Denver Christian,” Vidal said. “We don’t know each other well. From (other) coaches, we know they have good players in the middle.”
Vidal said the first-round playoff victory was a special win for the Telluride players.
“It’s so good for the seniors. It’s good for Telluride,” Vidal said, adding that the home crowd played a big role in boosting the Miners. “I’m so impressed with the crowd. They cheered so hard. We even had a mascot today.”
He said the players used the support from the crowd, their “12th player,” in the focused performance against the Falcons.
The Telluride girls charged into the soccer playoffs by winning five of its last six regular-season matches, including a 3-2 overtime win over Crested Butte. The Miners beat Pagosa Springs 5-0, Bayfield 5-1 Alamosa 1-0.
“The girls know how special it is to be in the playoffs,” Vidal said, adding that they were determined to take advantage of the home-playoff opportunity.
In other first-round playoff matches Tuesday, No. 6 seed Crested Butte beat No. 11 Thomas MacLaren School of Colorado Springs 5-1. The Crested Butte girls (13-2-1) will play at No. 3 Loveland Christian (13-2-0) on Friday.
The other quarterfinal in the Miners’ side of the bracket is No. 5 Cornerstone Christian Academy of Westminster vs. No. 4 Fountain Valley. Cornerstone Christian beat Rye 3-0 in the first round.
In the other side of the bracket, No. 7 Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale beat No. 10 Del Norte 4-3. Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale (9-2-0) advances to play at No. 2 overall seed Dawson School of Lafayette (9-3-0).
The Class 2A state semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, May 15.
The state championship match will be May 21 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver.
The Telluride High School boys lacrosse team also qualified for the state playoffs this season, earning a first-round game at Air Academy High School near Colorado Springs on Tuesday night.
The Miners, seeded No. 11 in the 16-team Class 4A postseason bracket, lost 19-4 to perennial power Air Academy (12-4).
In boys lacrosse, there are only two classifications in Colorado — 4A and 5A — matching Telluride against larger schools like Air Academy. Telluride finished the season 7-7.
In other first-round games involving Western Slope teams, No. 4 Steamboat Springs beat No. 13 Jefferson Academy of Broomfield 14-6. The Sailors improved to 13-3. No. 9 Evergreen (9-7) ousted No. 8 Aspen in the first round 10-5.