ARVADA -- The only guarantee Friday night at the North Area Athletic Complex was that a Jeffco squad would be advancing into the quarterfinals of the Class 5A girls soccer state tournament.
No. 8-seeded Columbine faced conference-rival Dakota Ridge, the No. 24 seed, in the second round at NAAC. Columbine sophomore Tatum Barton scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime period to give the Rebels a 2-1 victory.
“I just knew I needed to finish because the game was on the line,” said Barton of her 24th goal this season -- and probably her biggest. “We pulled it out.”
Sophomore Breckyn Schmitz sent a long ball from the midfield to Barton in the second minute of the second overtime period. Barton worked her scoring magic from there.
“Breckyn Schmitz released a long ball and Tatum does a great job always of shielding and holding herself on the ball,” Columbine coach Brian Todd said. “She (Barton) won the one-on-one battle and tucked it away.”
Barton beat a Dakota Ridge defender and slipped a low shot past Dakota Ridge junior Cassidy O’Hagen for the game-winning goal.
“I was praying that she (Barton) would make it and not shank it or something,” Columbine sophomore Kelcey Cavarra said. “I just knew it was in when I saw it get past the keeper.”
Cavarra scored the first goal of the game converting on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute during the first half to give the Rebels (14-3) a 1-0 lead.
The sophomore went down with an injury with 11:56 left in the second half and wasn’t on the field when Dakota Ridge tied the game at 1-1 in the 74th minute. Senior Ashley Mages headed in a cross from senior Taylor Terrell for the equalizer.
“It killed me. I was so depressed,” Cavarra said of watching the Eagles dominate the scoring chances in the final minutes of the second half. “I just wanted to get in there and work my butt off to do anything I could.”
Cavarra returned to the pitch a few minutes in the first 15-minute overtime period.
Dakota Ridge (6-10-1) had a pair of scoring chances in the first overtime period. Terrell and senior Kayla Latham both got off shots on Columbine junior goalie Sarah Luebking.
“We managed to score one,” Dakota Ridge coach Damon Smerchek said. “I thought we played well enough to get a second goal, but it just didn’t go that way.”
It was the second meeting of the year between the to area-rivals. Columbine took a 3-1 win March 19 in conference play. Barton scored a pair of goals, while Cavarra picked up a goal and assist. Dakota Ridge sophomore Lauryn Ratashak had the lone goal for the Eagles in the loss.
Despite a losing record coming into the postseason, the Eagles played a ton of close games. Of Dakota Ridge’s 10 losses, nine were one-goal defeats. The Eagles blanked No. 9-seeded Smoky Hill 2-0 in the opening round of the state tournament Tuesday night.
“We lost a lot of tough games,” Smerchek said. “We put together a top schedule so we would be ready for games like this in the playoffs.”
Columbine, 5A Jeffco League champs, will actually get to host a state quarterfinal Tuesday, May 13. No. 17-seeded Doherty scored a 1-0 upset Friday night of top-seeded Fossil Ridge.
“I would love to be able to host,” Todd said after he was told that Doherty (9-7) was leading previous undefeated Fossil Ridge in the second half.
The Spartans started the season with a 1-5 record, but have won five of their last six games going into Tuesday’s quarterfinal against Columbine.