ARVADA — Columbine’s girls soccer victory over Arvada West was measured in sweat and the blood of freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Phillips.
Phillips lost a tooth, bloodied her mouth and was initially thought to have suffered a concussion April 23 when she went in for a save with four minutes remaining in a tie game and got kicked in the face by a Wildcats’ striker.
After a lengthy stoppage of play, the game went into overtime where junior Kristen Hamilton struck in just over four minutes to cap a physical 3-2 Class 5A Jefferson County League victory at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Hamilton, who had two goals on the night, punched home the game-winner despite nearly being tugged to the ground by a defender deep in the penalty area. The clutch goal strengthened the Rebels’ playoff positioning and – in Hamilton’s mind – put more value in Phillips’ last save.
“If they had scored that goal, it probably would have been an entirely different game,” Hamilton said. “I mean, yeah, her teeth got knocked out, which obviously is a bummer, but she saved us the game. I guess you got to do what you got to do.”
Senior defender Lindsay Loundagin put on the gloves and took over in goal for the rest of the game as the Rebels improved to 9-2 (4-2 in Jeffco).
“She’ll be fine, but we might lose her for a couple weeks,” Rebels coach Brian Todd said of Phillips.
The Rebels had an indifferent start and trailed after 11 minutes when Phillips’ attempt to punch the ball clear instead dropped to the feet of defender Anya Vincenti for an easy goal. Columbine rallied in the second half, shifting to an attacking 3-5-2 formation and pulling ahead 2-1 on goals from Jenna Schroeder – a great header off of Kate McMullen’s corner kick – and Hamilton, who scored off a short pass from McMullen during a moment of chaos in the Arvada West penalty area.
Defense stole the spotlight for the next 13 minutes.
Arvada West drew up a set piece to beat Phillips to her back post off a corner kick and it would have worked it not for Columbine defender Sarah Dean. Chelsea Mathews slipped in on the far side and headed the ball past Phillips, but Dean stepped in to clear it from the line.
It was Columbine’s defensive highlight in a rough game.
“They had very fast forwards and were very physical,” Dean said.
Five minutes later it was Schroeder’s header that seemed destined for the right corner only for the Wildcats’ keeper to make a full-extension stop. Two minutes later Sarah Fein’s header would receive the same treatment.
“We created some great chances, especially off the head, in the box, and we probably could have scored some more goals,” Todd said.
The Wildcats made it 2-2 with 9:33 remaining on a long shot that skimmed in just under the crossbar.
Columbine takes on rival Chatfield in a Jefferson County League match at 5 p.m. April 30 at Lakewood Memorial Field.