Green Mountain wins thriller in PKs over Valor Christian in 4A girls soccer quarterfinal

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon (17) battle for a header with Valor Christian sophomore Amanda Lopez (10) during the Class 4A state quarterfinal Wednesday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss)

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon (17) battle for a header with Valor Christian sophomore Amanda Lopez (10) during the Class 4A state quarterfinal Wednesday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss)

ARVADA -- Green Mountain girls soccer coach Ken Fehr didn’t dread going into penalty kicks to decide Wednesday night’s Class 4A quarterfinal at the North Area Athletic Complex.

“I always like my chances when we get there (penalty kick). You see why right there,” Fehr said while his Rams celebrated their 4-2 victory in penalty kicks against Valor Christian.

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon, front, tries to work past Valor Christian junior Kristen Jones on Wednesday night. (Dennis Pleuss)

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon, front, tries to work past Valor Christian junior Kristen Jones on Wednesday night. (Dennis Pleuss)

After going scoreless through 110 minutes, Fehr had plenty of confidence in senior goalie Lindsey Hendon. In fact, Fehr had Hendon take the first shot during the kicks from the mark.

“She (Hendon) is probably one of our best PK takers,” Fehr said. “We’ve been practicing those and working on them. I asked who felt comfortable taking one. Five of them stepped up.”

The Rams took a 3-2 advantage in the shootout before Hendon, who extended her career state shutout record to 42, made a diving save on Valor freshman Camryn Dyke. However, the Eagles still had life when Green Mountain junior Mia Dobbin fired her shot just wide.

Green Mountain (15-2-1 record) leaned on Hendon and she delivered making another diving save on the Eagles’ fourth shooter, junior Allison Trizna.

“I’m very confident. I don’t know why, but I feel like it’s the time when I need to step up and be the best I can be,” Hendon said of the shootout. “I don’t have any other option.”

With the opportunity to put the game away, Green Mountain senior MacKenzie Schaller fired a shot past Valor goalie Carsyn Corey for the 4-2 victory in PKs.

“MacKenzie is clutch under pressure,” Fehr said of his senior defender. “She can handle it. She wants the pressure and wanted that last kick. She took it and put it away.”

Schaller, along with defenders Kelli Van Tassel, Cassie Allen and Danielle Lord have been a big part in helping Hendon record 12 shutouts this season.

“I knew I had to be calm and confident. That’s our team motto,” Schaller said of taking the final penalty kick for the Rams. “I knew if I did what I’ve been doing for the last 14 years of my life I’d be able to finish. It worked out.”

Green Mountain senior Christina Makatura (16) fends off Valor Christian senior Janie Camplese (14) during the first half Wednesday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss)

Green Mountain senior Christina Makatura (16) fends off Valor Christian senior Janie Camplese (14) during the first half Wednesday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss)

Green Mountain dominated scoring chances throughout the game. The Rams recorded 14 shots on goal and had another few handfuls ring off the cross bar, post or just miss.

The Eagles’ goalie Wednesday actually started the season at defender before moving into net for Valor.

“We’ve gone through five goalkeepers this year,” Valor coach Dan Georgopulos said. “Carsyn has stepped up in several games. You couldn’t ask for anyone better to step up. She gave what she had.”

Another obstacle Valor (11-7) had to overcome was playing a man down after junior Gabby Fleischli received her second yellow with 11 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the second half. Still, the Eagles had a few scoring chances to end the game before the kicks from the mark.

“(Valor) did everything they needed to do,” Fehr said. “We had some good chances and didn’t finish it. Valor hung around the whole time.”

No. 12-seeded Green Mountain will face top-seeded Cheyenne Mountain (16-0-2) in the 4A semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker. The Indians edged Evergreen 1-0 in another quarterfinal Wednesday night.

“If we can finish a couple of goals, we are getting chances, I think we’ll be fine,” Fehr said. “It will be a good game.”

It will be the second trip to the state semifinals for the Rams in three years. Green Mountain was the 4A state runner-up in 2012.

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon (17) and Valor Christian junior Gabby Fleischli (18) go up for a header Wednesday at the North Area Athletic Complex. The Rams advanced to the 4A state semifinals with a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks. (Dennis Pleuss)

Green Mountain junior Jenn Brunsdon (17) and Valor Christian junior Gabby Fleischli (18) go up for a header Wednesday at the North Area Athletic Complex. The Rams advanced to the 4A state semifinals with a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks. (Dennis Pleuss)