Arvada West girls soccer hangs on to defeat Golden

Arvada West junior Kynlee Post (4) scored the lone goal in the Wildcats' 1-0 win over Golden on Wednesday at the NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

ARVADA — Some days it just takes one.

Arvada West junior Kynlee Post’s goal midway through the first half was all the Wildcats (2-0 record) needed offensively on a windy Wednesday afternoon at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada. A-West edged Golden 1-0 in the non-league game between the Jeffco teams.

“It’s early season with fitness, jitters and just trying to figure stuff out,” A-West coach Troy Gette said.

Off a free kick, Post was able to rocket a sharp-angle shot from inside the Demons’ goalie box in the 20th minute. The shot got past Golden freshman goalie Katie Hageman for the lone goal of the game.

“Set pieces are the key in tight games,” Gette said. “We focused on them this week and it paid off.”

Golden senior Rylee Wyckoff (17) and Arvada West junior Jenna Columbo (9) battle for the ball. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

A-West sophomore Makenna Fowler and Post both had chances to give the Wildcats a bit of a cushion in the second half, but Golden freshman goalie Audrey Pino, who manned the next in the second half, made a diving save on Fowler in the 60th minute. Post had a close in shot, but after getting deflected it slipped just wide.

Golden (0-3) actually dominated scoring chances in the second half with a handful of opportunities to give the Demons their first goal of the season.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but we are working so hard,” Golden senior Sydney Starkey said of the Demons without a goal in their first three game. “We are so close right now. It’s so close we can taste it.”

Golden freshman Juju Behrens hit the crossbar in the 47th minute. Another great scoring chance came in the final minute, but Starkey’s shot was saved by A-West senior goalie Maysie Poland who picked up the shutout in net.

“It was very hectic in the second half. We got very congested everywhere on the field,” Post said. “We were playing not to lose in the second half.”

The Class 4A Jeffco League’s Golden squad took plenty of positives despite losing a third straight game to start the season. The Demons were very successful keeping possession of the ball and getting offensive pressure in the second half going against a strong north wind.

Golden freshman Juju Behrens nearly ended the Demons' scoring drought. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We are kind of used to,” Golden junior Quinn Cusack said of the wind. “We have it everyday when we practice on turf at Golden. You just have to hit the ball harder and we did that in the second half.”

The Demons have played a tough schedule so far. Golden suffered 2-0 losses to Mullen and Silver Creek. Mullen was No. 5 in the 4A girls soccer preseason poll and Silver Creek was just outside the top-10.

“Every team we’ve played so far is preparing us for something better,” Golden coach Luke Vanderglas said. “We aren’t finding the net right now, but it’s going to come. The way these girls work in practice and they way they are hungry out there, it will come.”

The Wildcats are hungry to make a run at the 5A Jeffco League title this season. A-West finished tied for third last season, but are the only 5A Jeffco team without a non-league loss just a week into the season.

“I think we have a chance,” Gette said about contending for a 5A Jeffco title. “We are young, I only have a couple of seniors, but it’s a good group we have this year. Once we figure out our style we’ll be very successful.”

Arvada West and Golden head into conference play in early April. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)