LAKEWOOD — It’s been more than a decade, so winning the Class 4A Jeffco League boys soccer title was special for Golden on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Lakewood Memorial Field. “It feels pretty damn …
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LAKEWOOD — It’s been more than a decade, so winning the Class 4A Jeffco League boys soccer title was special for Golden on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Lakewood Memorial Field.
“It feels pretty damn good,” Golden sophomore goalie Brandon Shull said of the Demons winning their first boys soccer conference title since 2007. “We worked hard all summer. We worked hard this season. I’m just glad we did it as a team.”
The Demons defeated rival Wheat Ridge 4-1 in the regular and league finale for both squads. Next, Golden (12-3 record, 5-1 in league) waits to see where it will be seeded for the 32-team 4A state tournament that began Wednesday, Oct. 24.
“Personally, I don’t think we are going to think about it too much,” Golden senior Alex Huston said of playoff goals. “We are just going to play like we normally do and see how it works out.”
Golden, ranked No. 9 in the final CHSAANow.com 4A boys soccer poll, got out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to Huston.
The senior striker banged home a corner kick that senior Douglass Beeman took and junior Sam Markovich headed toward the goal. Malkovich’s header hit the cross bar and went straight down, but Huston was able to get a foot on it before Wheat Ridge senior goalie Cameron McDaniel could grab it.
“I just got lucky and was there when it came off the cross bar,” Huston said of his first goal in the 7th minute. “Just being in the right place at the right time.”
Huston scored again when he was able to dribble past McDaniel on a one-on-one chance and fire a shot into an empty net in the 18th minute for a 2-0 advantage.
Wheat Ridge (0-15, 0-6) did make things interesting when junior Jean Baptiste-Uwayezu scored in the 33rd minute to make it a 1-goal game at halftime.
The Farmers nearly tied things up in the 57th minute on a redirected tip close to the net by junior Ethan Sitzman.
“I didn’t think he (Sitzman) was going to get to it because he was pretty far back,” Shull said of his biggest save of the night. “He slide through to get the touch. I had to reach back to make the save on the line. It was close there.”
Golden was able to extend its lead in the final 10 minutes with goals by juniors Christian Sekavac and Josh Colin to seal the conference title under first-year varsity coach Larry Harding, who had coached the Demons’ lower-level teams before taking over for Luke Vanderglas this year.
“They played well,” Harding said. “They worked hard.”
The Demons were able to rebound after a disappointing 3-2 loss against Evergreen last week that prevented Golden from running the table in league.
“We were taking things for granted,” Harding said of the Demons’ loss against Evergreen. “We started celebrating too early. It reminded them we still had a job to do. I’ve got to get them back playing more as a team like they were early in the season.”
Last season, Golden had an 11-win season, but were bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by Steamboat Springs. The Demons should have a chance to avenge their home postseason loss last year. Golden was No. 12 in the RPI standings before Tuesday’s win, so the Demons should be a top-16 seed to earn a first-round home game next week.
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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