LAKEWOOD — Brittany Wilson usually takes Chatfield’s free kicks, but this one was a little farther up the field than normal for the Lady Chargers’ sophomore goalkeeper. With her team in need of a spark against a ball-controlling Columbine squad, the opportunity presented itself for Chatfield to strike, and the Lady Chargers made the most of it.
A perfect strike to junior Analia Quirk, who headed the ball past Columbine goalie Sarah Luebking, proved to all the Lady Chargers would need for a 1-0 victory in the South Jeffco Invitational finals on March 15 at Lakewood Memorial Field.
“It was a good place for me to step in,” Wilson said. “(Chatfield head coach Brock) Blume called for me to take it. So I sent someone back (on defense) so that it wouldn’t be a negative for us. I hit it, and it was the right place at the right time. Analia finished it off with a great header,” said Wilson, who split time in goal for Chatfield along with Erin Rafferty.
Wilson and Rafferty combined to make 14 saves. Chatfield (2-1-1) joins last year’s champion, Wheat Ridge as a winner of the South Jeffco Invite.
“It was a good way to kind of end, cap the non-league part of our schedule. We’re going to run into our league next week,” Blume said. “(It was nice) getting off on the right foot against a quality, quality opponent like Columbine, who for a good chunk of the game was dominating us and putting us under the gun. We held on and waited for our chance.”
That’s what Blume expects from Chatfield in 2014. A blue-collar team, the Lady Chargers expect, more times than not, to have to claw out victories like this one. Resiliency will be the name of the game for Chatfield, and it hung on just long enough this time out. Columbine (4-1) had opportunities, especially in the first half, to take control. Three times in the opening 40 minutes Tatum Barton pounded a shot off the Chatfield goal — two off the crossbar and another off the left post. Another shot by Barton in the second half ricocheted off Wilson’s hands before tapping the crossbar again and falling harmlessly over the top.
“Our girls put on a really good showing of possession soccer, I thought. I think we controlled the possession the entire game. We put some really nice soccer together, but we weren’t rewarded with a goal,” Columbine head coach Brian Todd said.
The teams will play in the Jeffco League regular-season finale April 25 at Lakewood Memorial Field.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.