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Chargers lock up top seed with win over Rebels

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By Brian Forbes

LAKEWOOD — Everything was at stake for the Chatfield Chargers on April 30. At the same time, nothing was.

With the Class 5A Jefferson County League girls soccer title already in their back pocket, a loss to rival Columbine would have done nothing to change their position as the top-seeded team out of Jeffco for the playoffs.

But the fact that it was Columbine and that the top seed overall in 5A looks much better, the Chargers were all business at Lakewood Memorial Field.

And Sarah Schmeda was the boss.

The senior midfielder scored both goals as the top-ranked Chargers handled the Rebels 2-0 to improve to 14-0-1 this season (8-0-0 in Jeffco).

“I’m happy with the outcome,” said Schmeda, who, like every good boss, communicated with few words. “A win is always good.”

Schmeda broke the deadlock in the 16th minute and put the pesky Rebels away with another goal in the 67th.

All-Colorado goalkeeper Alyssa Gillmore made just one save – and a long shot at that – as the Chargers notched their 10th shutout of the season while becoming the first team this season to hold Columbine scoreless.

“We’ve had our bad games, but we’re still staying strong,” Schmeda said. “We’re happy about how we look going into the tournament.”

Credit Chatfield’s rearguard with staving off Columbine’s fast and dynamic attack, led by Kristen Hamilton, Amanda Giddens, Sarah Fein and Kate McMullen.

Chatfield senior defender Kelsi Latham was the center of the Chargers’ strength as she was comfortable in the finesse game and physical game.

“As far as our midfield and defense, and even our forwards coming back and defending, I think we did that really well,” Latham said.

After suffering an injury to starting goalkeeper Katelyn Phillips the previous week, the Rebels (10-3-0, 5-3-0) were playing with sophomore stand-in Bri Klomp and did their best to protect her. Klomp, who is listed as a forward, made four saves to keep the Rebels close.

“We came in today wanting to preserve a tie as long as we could and then maybe talk about what we wanted to do as far as equalizing or defending and getting lucky with something,” Rebels coach Brian Todd said.

Chatfield senior Callie Hancock sparked the first goal as she slipped around defender Sarah Dean and charged on goal. Her shot struck the left post and rebounded to Schmeda for an easy goal.

Midfielder Kelly McGrath set up the second with a great long ball over the top that Schmeda ran on to and slotted inside the left post.