LAKEWOOD — The opening round of the Class 4A boys soccer state playoffs was an ideal time for D’Evelyn senior Andreas Johnson to score his first two goals of the season.
Johnson came off the bench to tally goals in the 27th and 40th minutes of the first half Wednesday night at Lakewood Memorial Field to help the No. 4 seed Jaguars to a 4-1 victory over No. 29 Steamboat Springs. The 4A Jeffco League championship moves into the second round where it will host No. 13 Fort Lupton back at Lakewood Memorial on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
“We talked beforehand that there was a player in that locker room that hasn’t done a lot for us all season that this was going to be his game,” D’Evelyn coach Paul Moline said. “Tonight was his (Johnson’s) game. He was great tonight.”
Junior Giovanni Franzese put D’Evelyn (14-2 record) on the board with a goal in the 14th minute. It was actually his first goal of the season too. Steamboat Springs (9-6-1) answered with a long shot from junior Charlie Beurskens that found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 in the 22nd minute.
D’Evelyn’s leading goal scorer quickly gave the Jaguars the lead back a minute later. Sophomore Wesley Tedstrom scored in the 23rd minute to give D’Evelyn the lead for good.
Johnson’s back-to-back goals before halftime gave D’Evelyn the 3-goal cushion going into the second half.
“Today I felt a lot different then usual,” said Johnson, who deflected his individual efforts in the postseason win. “The real reason why we won was because it was a team effort. We kept our heads and didn’t get cocky. That was the important thing. We all contributed on the field.”
Steamboat Springs put some heavy pressure early in the second half, including four corner kicks in the first 10 minutes. D’Evelyn senior goalie Chris Linden came up with a big save on Steamboat Springs senior Sam Rossman in the 43rd minute.
“The second half we talked about our defensive responsibilities and being very secure there,” Moline said of the scoreless second half on both sides. “If we got some chances we’ll go, but we just have to be secure in the back. We were good enough.”
Johnson nearly picked up the hat trick, but his shot in the 76th minute was saved by Sailors’ goalie Jake Andersen.
“Right now I’m just glad we are still in this (state tournament),” Johnson said. “Steamboat Springs plays a very good game. I’m proud to take a win away from this one.”
D’Evelyn’s diverse offensive attack could be a big asset going forward in the state tournament. A dozen different Jaguars have scored for D’Evelyn with Johnson and Franzese getting into the scoring action Wednesday.
“It will definitely help,” D’Evelyn senior Sam Van Sickle said of the Jaguars’ balanced scoring. “Teams don’t know who is going to score next.”
D’Evelyn was one of the hottest 4A teams in the state riding a 10-game winning streak on its way to winning the program’s first conference championship. However, the Jaguars dropped their regular-season finale 3-0 last week against Centaurus. The Warriors snagged the No. 12 seed for the state tournament.
No. 11 seed Evergreen was the only other Jeffco squad to receive a first-round home game. The Cougars took a 3-1 win over Denver West on Wednesday to move into the second round where they will travel to Sports Authority Field in Park to play No. 6 Ponderosa.
Golden, Standley Lake and Wheat Ridge all had to hit the road to begin their state tournament voyages. All three suffered losses to end their seasons.
Fort Lupton (12-2-2) moved into the second round with a 1-0 home victory over Battle Mountain on Wednesday night.
“It was be a great game,” Moline said of facing the Colorado 7 League champion next Tuesday. “Fort Lupton is going to be a strong team.”