Chargers come up clutch late

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Bezdek helps Chatfield score much-needed win vs. Rebels

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Realistically, Chatfield Senior girls soccer coach Brock Blume said, freshman Bree Bezdek should have 10 goals this season, but she has only four. That’s how good she is and can be. Blume almost certainly is going to be a player to watch in the future.
But judging by the way Blume came through April 26 at Lakewood Memorial Field against rival Columbine, she’s already one to watch. Bezdek scored twice — once in each half — with her second goal coming in the 77th minute of a crucial 2-1 victory for the Lady Chargers in their 5A Jeffco League finale.
“We’ve been waiting for Bree to come on all year. She is the type of player as a freshman that I’m looking at how skilled she is. She is a girl that can pop it and win it,” Blume said. “She is going to be one of those players to watch for in the future.”
The victory allowed Chatfield (7-4-2, 6-2) to keep its hopes for a conference title intact. The Lady Chargers, with 18 league points, sit on top, with Ralston Valley (5-1 in league play) second with 15 and Arvada West (3-1-1) third with 10 points.
But the Lady Mustangs, who lost to Chatfield earlier this season, have two games in hand. A-West has three. Arvada West beat Chatfield 1-0 two weeks earlier.
“We needed a win tonight. That’s what we got for sure,” Blume said. “It was tense there. Credit to Columbine for battling all night long. They rose to the occasion in an old rivalry. We’ve been rivals forever. Even though they’re not having the season they want to have, they battled us through the whole game. Even in the end there it was frantic.”
And that was a concern for the Lady Chargers, whose 5A Jeffco League title hopes could ill-afford a tie. Yet that’s where things looked like they were headed when Kelcey Cavarra hammered home a penalty kick in the 58th minute to help Columbine (5-5-1, 2-4) tie the score.
“It was a good call. It was just an unfortunate, unlucky hand-ball touch, a little ball that got dropped in their box. That gave us the equalizer, and I thought it really lifted our team and gave us momentum or energy,” Columbine head coach Brian Todd said. “I thought the second half was a very even battle, and then we just got unlucky on a ball that didn’t get cleared out of the back.”
Bezdek came through in the clutch with a perfectly fed ball from senior Val Cochrane that was one-timed past Columbine keeper Sarah Luebking for the game-winner.
Kristi Vaninger assisted on Bezdek’s first goal — a set piece — in the 16th minute, while freshman goalkeeper Brittany Wilson made 12 saves.
“I did not feel pressured at all when they got that PK. I knew that our team could build it up again and score again to get us the win,” Bezdek said.
Now the Lady Chargers are playing the waiting game.


Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.