Chatfield stuns Columbine in playoff tune-up

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By Joe Vaccarelli

LAKEWOOD — When Columbine and Chatfield play each other, you can throw the record book out the window. This was evident on May 4 as the Chargers beat the Rebels in every aspect of the game in a 6-0 girls soccer romp at Lakewood Memorial Field.

For the Rebels, the loss snapped a 12-game winning streak while the Chargers played their most complete game of the season, constantly applying pressure on Columbine.

“The effort overall was poor,” Rebels head coach Brian Todd said. “We didn’t show up. I don’t know if we just took a day off, knowing we were (5A Jeffco) league champs and the game didn’t matter in that regard. For some reason we were in a funk and didn’t bring what we needed to bring.”

Chatfield got ahead early and kept the pressure on as Abby Degenbart got the Chargers on the board early. The Chargers added an insurance goal later in the first half as Janae Fritze, with a pass from Kelly McGrath, had a wide-open shot at Rebels goaltender Katelyn Phillips.

The Chargers (7-5-3), who finished off the regular season with a win over Pomona and loss to Cherry Creek, put the game away for good early in the second half, scoring two goals in the first five minutes.

McGrath got her second assist off of a free kick that set up fellow junior Julianna Grover for a goal. Lauren Bratschun later laced a shot over Phillips to make it 4-0.

“Tonight was what we were working toward all season as far as playing together and building on the attack and defending as a team and finishing as a team and that showed,” Chatfield head coach Brock Blume said. “This was kind of a come-to-fruition game for us where all the stuff that we’ve been battling against kind of came into place.”

Michele Prael also scored for the Chargers, and McGrath rounded out the scoring with a penalty kick goal with less than 10 minutes remaining. McGrath finished with a goal and two assists.

“The PK is icing, but I think the assists are even better because it helps the team win,” McGrath said. “We were talking about this game for a while. The team really came together, and we started focusing and it paid off big time.”

Columbine (12-2-1) got one great scoring chance off of a corner kick, but defenseman Kate Kurtenbach got back into the net to block the shot wide.

Both teams qualified for the 32-team 5A state tournament, which starts May 12. Columbine, seeded 10th, will host 23rd-seeded Grand Junction (11-4), while Chatfield, the 15th seed, plays at home against No. 18 seed Regis Jesuit (9-4-2).

For the Rebels, they now need to dust themselves off and use the Chatfield game as a wake-up call for what they hope will be a deep playoff run.

“That’s how you have to treat it. We’ve been cruising all year and having a great year. Everything’s gone our way. We’ve played some exceptional soccer and, hopefully, this will just teach the girls that we’ve got show up each and every day, whether they think the game matters or not,” Todd said.