Chatfield girls soccer charges into 5A state quarterfinals

Chatfield junior goalie Abby Wilkinson makes a diving save late in the first half Friday night at Lakewood Memorial Field. The No. 7-seeded Chargers took a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Fossil Ridge to advance to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

LAKEWOOD — Chatfield’s girls soccer team doesn’t fear playing games decided by one goal.

In fact, the No. 7-seeded Chargers have thrived in nail-biters this season. Chatfield has a 6-1-1 record in games this spring in decided by one-goal or less.

Fossil Ridge freshman Allie Ressler (23) and Chatfield sophomore Rachel Gerrie (6) battle for a loose ball Friday at Lakewood Memorial Field. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We just worry about the win,” Chatfield junior Halley Kemmer said after the Chargers advanced to the Class 5A state quarterfinals Friday night with a 1-0 victory over Fossil Ridge at Lakewood Memorial Field. “We always work hard to try to get that one goal in. If it’s just one goal that’s totally fine.”

Kemmer scored that lone goal this time around for Chatfield (14-2-1 record). The junior rocked a shot off a Fossil Ridge defender that deflected into the goal in the 8th minute of the first half.

“I definitely thought about cutting back and shooting around the defender, but I was really lucky to get a defection off her leg,” said Kemmer, who had just one goal previously this season before the postseason game-winner.

Chatfield was able to start where it left off after its first-round playoff victory earlier in the week against Denver East. After a scoreless first half, the Chargers poured in five goals after halftime against the Angels.

“We were on our toes early. Catching (Fossil Ridge) off guard,” Chatfield coach Brock Blume said of the early pressure that resulted in the lone goal. “You have to shoot to score and sometimes with a great shot like that anything can happen.”

Chatfield’s defense was solid in front of goalie Abby Wilkinson. The junior keeper had her most impressive save late in the first half with a diving save to her left.

Chatfield junior Kylie Wells (10) tries to get her head on the ball before Fossil Ridge goalie Emily Vangundy can get her hands on it. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We definitely all kept fighting hard and defending on every kick (Fossil Ridge) had,” Kemmer said. “We fought hard to get this win.”

No. 10 Fossil Ridge (11-4-2) wasn’t a team Chatfield was going to take lightly. The Sabercats took a 1-0 overtime victory over 5A Jeffco League’s Valor Christian in their playoff opener.

“There has been some gritty matches,” Blume said of 5A Jeffco play this season in some difficult weather conditions. “That only helps us in the long run. I feel like we play better when it’s chilly. Bring on the snow.”

Next up for Chatfield is No. 2 Grandview on Wednesday, May 15. The Chargers will hit the road and likely play the Wolves (14-2-1) at Legacy Stadium.

The Chargers would like to set up an all-Jeffco semifinal May 18 at Echo Park in Parker. If Chatfield upsets Grandview it would play the winner of No. 14 Ralston Valley/No. 11 Columbine — both 5A Jeffco rivals.

The Mustangs and Rebels both pulled off postseason road victories Friday night. Ralston Valley defeated No. 3 Fruita Monument 1-0 in Grand Junction. Columbine scored a 3-2 overtime victory against Regis Jesuit.

“That is our goal,” Kemmer said of having an all-Jeffco semifinal. “That is what we want.”

Blume wouldn’t might to repeat history. Chatfield managed 1-0 playoff victories over Green Mountain, Ponderosa, Fairview and Air Academy on the way to a 5A state championship title in 2009.

“Ten years ago this spring we had four 1-0 wins on the way to a state title,” Blume said. “We talked about how a goal is huge in these playoffs.”

Chatfield junior Riley Wank (2) sends the ball upfield during the Chargers' 1-0 victory over Fossil Ridge on Friday night at Lakewood Memorial Field. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)