COMMERCE CITY — Frustration, heartbreak, restlessness – so many ingredients went into Windsor’s recipe for the 2018 girls soccer season.
But this time it was crucial that the Wizards finally nail down the right formula. It was all or nothing for a senior-heavy team that had always come this close to fulfilling its dream, but instead gone home with semifinal losses the past three years.
Not this time.
Windsor finally flipped the script and finished the storybook ending it had been trying to write since 2015 – in form of an emphatic 4-1 victory over Valor Christian in the Class 4A state championship game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday.
“The heartache had been enough. This year we decided that there was no next year. We had to do whatever it takes,” coach Mario Garcia said. “Life is about opportunities, and I think they knew this was their last opportunity to finish it out. As a coach, that’s truly special to see.”
The Wizards (19-0-1) made it clear early in Wednesday’s game they weren’t going to let another chance slip past.
Windsor was dominant from start to finish, and the Eagles couldn’t do much other than hope the game wouldn’t get too far out of reach. The Wizards controlled possession for the majority of the first half and had a few early chances, but more than 20 minutes went by scoreless.
It was fitting that senior Chaynee Kingsbury took the reigns to break the silence on a breakaway goal in the 25th minute.
The other half of Windsor’s star scoring duo, junior Abby Gearhart, then added a goal of her own off a loose rebound that lifted the Wizards to a 2-0 halftime lead.
“We wanted to come out flying … and that’s exactly what we did,” said Kingsbury, who will next play at the University of Colorado. “It’s a lot of hard work and it finally paid off. It’s an amazing feeling.”
In search of its first program title, there was no letting off the gas for Windsor – which took a commanding three-goal lead just minutes after halftime.
Kingsbury then put the finishing touch on her show-stopping championship performance, scoring a third goal for a hat trick in her high school finale.
Alex Dawes scored the lone goal for Valor in the 57th minute.
The Wizards finished with an astonishing 118-11 goal differential in their favor over the season and capped off an undefeated campaign.
“It’s honestly the best feeling in the world,” senior goalkeeper Michaela Moran said. “As close as we’ve been, we could have won it any of those other times. But I wouldn’t want it any other way than to win it like this with these girls. It’s so surreal to finally get it done.”
Valor Christian, which has one previous girls soccer title (2011), finishes its as the 4A runner-up with a 12-4-3 overall mark.