LAKEWOOD — D’Evelyn sophomore Anna Pampalone didn’t get all of it, but she got enough of it.
Pampalone was able to kick in the lone goal in the Class 4A girls soccer state quarterfinal game against The Classical Academy on Wednesday night at Lakewood Memorial Field. The Jaguars’ reserve put in the eventual game-winning goal in the 58th minute in No. 4-seeded D’Evelyn’s 1-0 victory over No. 5 TCA.
“There was a lot of confusion in the goal box. Everyone was just going at it,” Pampalone said. “I just tapped it in. It just kind of rolled in.”
The ball almost looked like it was going in slow-motion as it floated into the goal past TCA junior goalie Lauren Fletcher. The goal came after the Jaguars (14-3-1 record) applied a ton of offensive pressure entering the second half after a scoreless first 40 minutes.
“We just had to keep pushing through,” said D’Evelyn sophomore Laryssa Hamblen, who had a shot just slide wide of the goal in the 51st minute. “We felt it coming in the first half. We just made it happen in the second half.”
D’Evelyn sophomore goalie Kiera Hess picked up the shutout victory in goal. The Titans (15-2) nearly tied the game up in the 65th minute. A clearing attempt near the Jaguars’ goal line ricocheted off TCA sophomore Kaylee Thompson and right back at Hess.
The sophomore was able to make the stop off the deflection and was never really threatened in the final 15 minutes of play. D’Evelyn coach Paul Moline said one of the major keys was to control the midfield and limit the scoring chances of TCA senior Hannah Burgo, who came in with 34 goals on the season.
“We just had to stay patient because we had chances. It was just that final piece,” Moline said after the Jaguars advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2009. “I felt like we won individual battles all over the field today.”
The next battle D’Evelyn faces is squaring off against Jeffco rival and top-seeded Valor Christian. The Eagles (15-1) defeated No. 8 Mullen 3-0 in Highlands Ranch. That game featured a long lightning delay before finishing late in the night.
“We are just battle tested with playing in (4A) Jeffco. That part really helped us out,” Moline said. “We don’t care who we play. We just are waiting for the next team and thinking about what is in front of us.”
Valor edged D’Evelyn 1-0 back in 2009 in the state semifinals, the year Wheat Ridge won its first of back-to-back 4A state titles. The Jaguars hope the story is different Saturday, May 20, at EchoPark Stadium in Parker when D’Evelyn faces Valor with a ticket to the 4A title game on the line.
D’Evelyn has never played in a girls soccer championship game.
“We are definitely excited,” Hamblen said of the Jaguars’ third trip to the state semifinals in the program’s history. “We are definitely pumped up.”