LAKEWOOD — Golden’s boys soccer program is hungry to get a taste of the postseason.
The Demons haven’t made the Class 4A state tournament field since 2014. With several familiar faces back, Golden coach Luke Vanderglas fully expects the Demons to be in the mix to make the 32-team field this year.
“That’s the goal of this team,” Vanderglas said of the Demons challenging for a Class 4A Jeffco League title and grab one of the two automatic postseason berths out of the conference. “We’ve got a lot of guys back from last year, but you never know in 4A Jeffco. Teams can have struggles now, but they can come back. We aren’t going to take anyone lightly.”
Golden didn’t take old Jeffco rival Alameda International lightly Wednesday at Lakewood Memorial Field. The Demons took a 4-1 victory to improve Golden’s non-league record to 5-1 on the season.
“We have really improved this year, but you are always aware that the other team can give you a good match like they did when we encountered (Alameda) the last time,” Golden junior Doug Beeman said referring to the Demons’ slim 1-0 win over Alameda last year. “We wanted to come out here and show the new Golden soccer.”
The Demons got goals from sophomore Sam Markovich, juniors Beeman and Aydan Provencio to take a 3-1 lead at halftime. The Pirates evened the game at 1-1 in the 14th minute on a perfectly placed volley from Elian Mojica, but Beeman and Provencio scored a minute apart to grab a 2-goal lead.
“That was absolutely a good moment,” Beeman said of the Demons’ back-to-back goals in the 23rd and 24th minutes. “Getting the lead going into half is always thing to have.”
Golden sophomore Josh Colin scored the lone goal of the second half to cap off the victory.
“We are getting goals from all different areas on the field,” Vanderglas said. “That shows you how dynamic these boys are when they want to play.”
While the Demons have plenty of varsity experience, they are going with freshman Brandon Shull in net. Vanderglas clearly has plenty of faith in his young goalkeeper.
“Brandon brings a lot of confidence and a lot of vocal leadership back there, even as a freshman,” Vanderglas said. “The boys really respond to that, look up and respect him even if he is a freshman.”
Golden has a good test in its final non-league contest before 4A Jeffco League play begins. The Demons host undefeated Denver North (5-0) at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at the North Area Athletic Complex.
“Denver North is going to be a tough opponent on Friday. It should be a good one,” said Vanderglas who also admitted the Demons are a little banged up and distracted with it being homecoming week. “They got us last year and some of our boys circled that date. It will be a good test.”
Golden opens conference play next Tuesday night against Littleton at Littleton Public Schools Stadium.
Alameda opens up its 4A/3A Colorado 7 League schedule on the road against Weld Central on Sept. 26.