Skyline rebounds from stunning defeat to take third at state

November 23, 2010

By Christopher Huber

Jackie Wilson, Skyline junior defender, nudges a shot into the Skyview goal for the Spartans’ 2-1 win for third place in the state 4A soccer championship. By Greg Farrar

By many accounts, the Skyline High School girls soccer team had difficulty playing with passion for third place.

The defending 4A state champ Spartans had been ranked No. 1 in the country going into the state semifinal Nov. 19 but Tahoma pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory.

With hopes for a three-peat were dashed, Skyline still took its mid-day consolation game seriously enough to beat Skyview 2-1 Nov. 20 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

“It was hard to come out with the passion we had all season,” senior forward Michelle Bretl said. “We wanted to play at 4.”

The Spartans hit the field running on the near-freezing afternoon. They scored within the first few minutes and controlled the tempo the entire first half.

Skyline went up 1-0 in the third minute when junior defender Jackie Wilson hammered a free kick from 35 yards out near the right sideline. Skyline and Skyview players grappled for the ball but junior midfielder Nicole Candioglos managed to tip it in from the right goal post.

“I just hit it and knew someone would be there,” Wilson said after the game.

Skyline threatened to score numerous times in the first 10 minutes and had other chances in the first half, thanks to a handful of free-kick opportunities.

Junior midfielder Maddie Christ nearly scored in the 12th minute on a free kick. Skyline led a strong left-side attack all game. Its defense intercepted the ball nearly every time Skyview dribbled past midfield.

“I’m really happy with how we played,’’ said Bretl.

Skyline led 1-0 at halftime.

The Skyview girls came out in the second half with a determination not seen in the first half and pressed hard. Skyline’s defense adapted, though.

Wilson scored in the 46th minute to put Skyline up 2-0. Christ lofted a right-side corner kick into the mob of players and Wilson nudged the ball in, just past the Skyview goalkeeper.

“It was just kinda in front of me,” Wilson said of the goal.

Skyview had its shots against Skyline goalkeeper Tina Vargas, but the junior standout stood her ground. She finished the game with five saves.

The Storm punched one in the 52nd minute as Vargas bobbled the ball, but it was called back on an interference ruling.

In the 61st minute, the Storm got on the board when senior forward Brittany Wilson crossed a pass right to left and junior forward Sheaffer Skadsen booted a shot from 10 yards out.

“It was hard to be fired up for this game,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “But we played it the best we could. It was a hard game to play and they all did their jobs.”

Skyline held out thanks to a huge diving save from Vargas in the 73rd minute and two more in the final two minutes.

“Tina just showed her quality there,” Braman said. “I hope to see it from her next year.”

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