OT goal lifts 4A No. 2 D'Evelyn girls soccer over Dakota Ridge

LAKEWOOD — D’Evelyn’s girls soccer team is getting used to playing overtime.

The defending Class 4A state champions, ranked No. 2 in the latest CHSAANow.com 4A girls soccer poll, played its third overtime game of the season Wednesday at Lakewood Memorial Field.

D’Evelyn freshman Lauren Cook ended the non-league game 12 seconds into the extra session on a shot that sailed out of the reach of Dakota Ridge junior goalie Bradi Ore to give the Jaguars a 1-0 victory.

D'Evelyn junior Anna Pampalone, right, attempts to block the path of Dakota Ridge's Kayta Arbuthnot. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We had been working on that play for a while. It just worked out,” Cook said. “Anna (Pampalone) had an amazing assist on it. I wasn’t thinking too hard about what I was doing.”

D’Evelyn junior Anna Pampalone had the ball on the right wing. Instead of making a run, Pampalone fed the ball back to the middle of the field to Cook. It was the first overtime victory for the Jaguars (3-0-2 record). D’Evelyn had to settle for ties against Battle Mountain and Lakewood last week.

“Winning these games, especially when the freshmen score it boosts their confidence so much,” D’Evelyn senior captain Kylie Sumpter said. “They aren’t scared to shoot. They aren’t scared to run. They aren’t scared of playing anymore.”

Despite being undefeated so far this season, the Jaguars have struggled scoring. D’Evelyn has just five goals in five games.

“We lost 90 percent of our scoring from last year,” said Moline referring to a handful of top scorers opting to play club soccer instead of high school this spring. “Scoring is always going to be an issue.”

Sumpter is confident the inexperienced forwards will improve as the season goes on. The senior defender is one of the anchors along with sophomore Taya Starnes in the back that will keep D’Evelyn in any game. The Jaguars’ solid defense has allowed just one goal in five games.

The defending Class 4A champion Jaguars are now 3-0-2 on the season. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We are young and just inexperienced. We lapse at times mentally. It’s just our youth,” Moline said. “I think we have enough veteran leadership from the team from last year — even girls who were on the bench who are playing now — know what it takes.”

One big question mark might be the health of second-year starting goalie Kiera Hess. The junior had to leave Wednesday’s game after halftime with an apparent collarbone injury. Freshman Allison O’Connor-Cress played in net during the second half for the Jaguars and was able to preserve the shutout.

“She (Hess) has been our keeper for two years now. We are such good friends. I love her to death. It’s so sad if she is hurt,” Sumpter said. “I have total confidence in our back-up keeper, but I hope our starting keeper is OK.”

D’Evelyn has spring break to heal and rest up, but will open 4A Jeffco League play against No. 8 Wheat Ridge.

“I think there is a lot of parity in 4A this year,” Moline said. “I think anyone who is playing well at the end of the season will have a shot at going deep into the playoffs.”

Dakota Ridge (2-3) will also have a tough test in its 5A Jeffco conference opener after spring break. The Eagles face No. 10 Columbine on April 5.

Dakota Ridge junior Alyvia Sornberger (19) attempts to give off a shot Wednesday afternoon at Lakewood Memorial Field. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)