No. 22 Liberty upsets No. 11 Arvada West on penalty kicks in 5A boys soccer playoffs

Arvada West Liberty boys soccer

Arvada West's Dominic Drumright (12) and Brandon Oeltjenbruns (6) attempt to get control of the ball from Liberty sophomore Jaylen Thompson during the Class 5A playoff game Thursday. (Dennis Pleuss)

ARVADA -- Liberty's senior goalie Kyle Robinson used a little bit of guessing to advance the Lancers into the second round of the Class 5A boys soccer playoffs.

The No. 22 seed Liberty (9-6-1 record) defeated No. 11 seed Arvada West on Thursday at the North Area Athletic Complex in a game that was scoreless through 110 minutes of play. The game was decided on “kicks from the mark” where Robinson saved two of five shots to give the Lancers a 4-3 win on penalty kicks.

“We’ve been practicing (shootouts) all week,” Robinson said. “We’ve been feeling really comfortable with it. We knew we could win it.”

Robinson saved the Wildcats’ third and fifth shots. He said tried to read the PKs shots off the foot, along with doing a little bit of guessing.

Liberty junior Tyler Mellinger, who scored the game-winning goal during penalty kicks Thursday, heads the ball in front of Arvada West senior Cody Travers. (Dennis Pleuss)

Liberty junior Tyler Mellinger, who scored the game-winning goal during penalty kicks Thursday, heads the ball in front of Arvada West senior Cody Travers. (Dennis Pleuss)

Arvada West sophomore goalie Andy Fendel saved the Lancers’ fourth shot to even the shootout at 3-3, but Robinson answered with another save to give Liberty junior Tyler Mellinger a chance to close out the game. Mellinger’s low shot found the back of the net to advance the Lancers into the second round.

“We played as hard as we could,” Mellinger said. “We knew we could get the win.”

A-West had to play a man down and with their back-up keeper after senior goalie Shazz Heale received a red card on play in the second minute of overtime. It was ruled that Heale denied Liberty a clear scoring chance when he collided with Lancer senior Klinton Spencer.

It was the 10th game this season A-West had played that was decided by one goal.

“That is just the way this team is built this year,” A-West coach Troy Gette said. “We defend and hope for our chance. We had several opportunities that we normally score on. We just didn’t get it done tonight.”

Gette was proud of his team how it played against Liberty’s scoring tandem of Spencer (16 goals) and junior Ryan Kenyon (10 goals).

“That was a great team we faced,” Gette said. “They probably have the most dynamic forwards that we’ve seen all season and we shut them out.”

A-West, which won its third consecutive 5A Jeffco League title this season, closed out its season with a 12-4 record.

Liberty will play its second round game on Wednesday, Oct. 30, against either Poudre or Cherry Creek.

Arvada West freshman Alec Breay, left, and Liberty senior Josh Tomlinson go after a header during the Class 5A boys soccer playoff game Thursday at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada. Liberty advanced into the second round with a 4-3 victory on penalty kicks. (Dennis Pleuss)

Arvada West freshman Alec Breay, left, and Liberty senior Josh Tomlinson go after a header during the Class 5A boys soccer playoff game Thursday at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada. Liberty advanced into the second round with a 4-3 victory on penalty kicks. (Dennis Pleuss)

Arvada West's Dominic Drumright (12) and Brandon Oeltjenbruns (6) attempt to get control of the ball from Liberty sophomore Jaylen Thompson during the Class 5A playoff game Thursday. (Dennis Pleuss)

Arvada West's Dominic Drumright (12) and Brandon Oeltjenbruns (6) attempt to get control of the ball from Liberty sophomore Jaylen Thompson during the Class 5A playoff game Thursday. (Dennis Pleuss)