ARVADA — Columbine junior Kaitlyn Weiser broke the ice and the floodgates opened up Friday night at the North Area Athletic Complex.
Weiser’s rocket of a shot zipped inside the far post in the 17th minute to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the critical Class 5A Jeffco League girls soccer game against Arvada West.
“Amanda (Porter) had a really good assist and I was able to finish it,” Weiser said. “It was a really good feeling. I definitely feel like it changed the game because we just went after it after that.”
Weiser scored her second goal in the 36th minute when she headed in a centering pass from junior Skylar Alward, but it was Weiser’s first goal that really got the ball rolling in the 5-0 victory over the Wildcats (6-2, 2-1 in league).
“That first goal was unbelievable. It was an unbelievable shot,” Columbine coach Brian Todd said of Weiser’s first goal. “That got us going. It got us hungry.”
Columbine put constant pressure on A-West in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Weiser had a shot just sail wide and Alward had a couple of great scoring opportunities before assisting Weiser on her second goal.
“It’s definitely frustrating missing some shots, but I don’t let it get me down,” Alward said. “I move on to the next play and keep working harder.”
Alward found the back of the net in the 37th minute to give the Rebels, ranked No. 9 in the current CHSAANow.com 5A girls soccer standings, a commanding 3-0 lead at halftime.
Columbine (6-3, 3-0) kept it going offensively in the second half. Rebel sisters Lexi and Amanda Porter both scored on direct free kicks. Lexi’s direct free kick deflected off a pair of Wildcat defenders in the 64th minute to find the back of the net. Amanda put the icing on the cake with her hard shot in the 77th minute to cap off Columbine goalie Madeline Samuelson’s third shutout in net of the season.
“This game was huge. It gives us a boost of confidence,” said Alward after the Rebels got their third victory since the end of spring break. “We worked really hard in training this week and it paid off.”
Columbine is attempting to win a fourth straight 5A Jeffco championship. The Rebels have racked up an impressive 21-3-1 conference record dating back to the 2014 season.
According to Todd, injuries have plagued the Rebels this season. However, he expects Columbine to get the likes of one of the Rebels’ most dangerous scorers in sophomore Tessa Barton back on the field next week.
“I was say it’s really important to the girls,” Todd said of a fourth straight league title. “We’ve had a lot of success over the last few years. We want to keep it going. We’ll do everything in our power to keep winning.”
Columbine returns to NAAC next week for a showdown against Ralston Valley (6-2, 3-0) on Wednesday, April 19. The Mustangs took a 2-1 victory over Chatfield on Friday night to keep pace with the Rebels as the only two 5A Jeffco team undefeated in league play.
“We’ll just try to keep our heads where they need to be to play good games and get the result out that we want,” Weiser said as the Rebels move toward the midway point of conference play.
A-West will try to bounce back after having its 4-game winning streak snapped. The Wildcats face Chatfield on Monday, April 17, at NAAC.
“One loss isn’t the end of the world in league play. We are all pretty close,” A-West coach Troy Gette said. “League title is of course a goal, but getting to the playoffs if more important for this group.”
The top two finishers in 5A Jeffco receive automatic bids to the 32-team state tournament. RPI standings will determine the nearly half of the field after the automatic bids are handed out.
“I think we’ll bounce back pretty well,” Gette said. “We are just fighting consistency right now.”