By Will Petersen
For the Courier
LAKEWOOD — It was like a movie that took a little too long to get going. But, boy, once it did, there were fireworks. Chatfield and Dakota Ridge played a thrilling final 25 minutes in the regular-season finale, won 2-1 by the Chargers on Oct. 17 at Lakewood Memorial Field.
The two squads combined for three goals in a five-minute span late in the second half, including two from Chatfield sophomore Ben Overholt that ultimately proved to be too much for a pesky Dakota Ridge team to overcome.
The Chargers dominated possession and had several prime scoring chances early, but couldn’t convert through the first 65 minutes. In fact, Dakota Ridge’s first real chance of the match almost put Chatfield in a 1-0 hole.
In the 55th minute, Dakota Ridge was awarded a direct free kick just outside of the penalty box. The Eagles’ Jake Jones ripped a shot around a wall of players and forced Chargers goalkeeper Steven Seagraves to take two steps to his left and then dive. He got one hand on the ball and deflected it out of bounds.
“You have a goalkeeper who’s not active for big chunks of time, then all the sudden he gets called on in a moment like that. It was huge, a big step up,” Chatfield coach Brock Blume said.
It also swung the momentum back toward Chatfield (11-3-1, 6-2 5A Jeffco), which finally found the back of the net. Overholt gave the Chargers a 1-0 lead off a deflected ball from a direct free kick with 14 minutes left.
“Their defender actually missed the ball off that deflection. I thought I’ve got to take this shot because it’s one-on-one with goalie. I just beat him far post,” Overholt said.
Three minutes later, Overholt struck again, this time on a run near post. Junior Robert Simpson crossed the ball in from the corner and Overholt one-timed a laser past diving Dakota Ridge goalkeeper Charlie D’Adamio.
Dakota Ridge (5-9-1, 1-5-1) made it interesting just two minutes later. Jake Fast slipped behind the Chatfield defense and beat Seagraves in a one-on-one situation with nine minutes left to make it 2-1.
The Eagles pressure continued, but it couldn’t muster a good enough chance the rest of the way.
The Chargers locked up second place in the conference. Chatfield, seeded 11th, will play host 22nd-seeded Rocky Mountain on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Lakewood Memorial Field in the first round of the 32-team 5A state tournament.