ARVADA — Tatum Barton was focused on the task at hand. The sophomore forward saw where Dakota Ridge goalkeeper Cassidy O’Hagen was, and she knew where she needed to finish her shot.
She did just that, in the lower right corner of the net, and the Columbine Lady Rebels avoided a second-round upset, topping rival Dakota Ridge 2-1 in double overtime in the 5A girls soccer state tournament May 9 at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Barton’s goal in the 97th minute sent Columbine (14-3) to the 5A state quarterfinals on May 13 at the NAAC where it played 17th seed and upset-minded Doherty (9-7), a stunning 1-0 winner over top-ranked and previously undefeated Fossil Ridge. Results from the quarterfinals weren’t available at press time.
Getting to the quarterfinals certainly wasn’t an easy task for Columbine. The Lady Rebels, who beat Dakota Ridge 3-1 on March 19, took an early 1-0 lead on Kelcey Cavarra’s penalty kick in the 23rd minute, but it was the Lady Eagles (6-10-1) who controlled much of the game flow in the second half.
Dakota Ridge finally tied the game in the 75th minute after Ashley Mages headed in Taylor Terrell’s free kick, and it carried that momentum into the first of two 15-minute overtime periods.
“I was definitely nervous because they had so much momentum going into overtime, but we pulled it out,” Barton said.
But it wasn’t easy.
“They made us play for the win,” said Cavarra, who sat out the latter part of the second half due to an injury, but she returned to the game in the overtime.
The Lady Eagles, seeded 24th, upset ninth-seeded Smoky Hill 2-0 in the first round, and they seemed poised to do it again against Columbine, which got to the second round with a 1-0 victory over Fruita Monument. Instead, Dakota Ridge suffered its ninth one-goal loss of the season. It was the 11th one-goal game that it played in 2014.
“It is tough. We’ve lost a lot of tough games,” Dakota Ridge head coach Damon Smerchek said. “We put together a top schedule so that we could be ready for games like this in the playoffs. All we wanted was another opportunity to prove that we belonged, and we got it.
“We managed to score one (goal). I thought we might get another one. I thought we played well enough to get a second goal. It just didn’t go our way.”
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.