LAKEWOOD — The territory is starting to look very similar to D’Evelyn’s girls soccer team.
The top-seeded Jaguars (13-1-2 record) advanced to the Class 4A state quarterfinals next week with a 3-0 shutout victory over No. 17 Erie on Saturday at Lakewood Memorial Field. D’Evelyn is on a familiar path when the Jaguars won the 4A state title in 2017.
“For all of the seniors it’s a lot of motivation,” D’Evelyn senior Laryssa Hamblen said of getting back to the 4A state title game. “We know the feeling and we know what it’s like. We are trying to really express how it is and how it was for the younger players.”
Hamblen scored the lone goal two years ago in the 1-0 state championship victory over Evergreen at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
There are a handful of seniors remaining from that championship squad who were instrumental in D’Evelyn winning its first girls soccer state title in the school’s history.
“It helps so much,” D’Evelyn coach Reid Bervik said of the experience from the core of seniors who were huge factors two years ago. “Laryssa (Hamblen), Bella (Scaturro), CC (Leoni) and Kiera (Hess) are just so savvy. They don’t let moments become to big for them.”
The moment wasn’t too big for D’Evelyn sophomore Peyton Fritchie on Saturday. Fritchie broke a scoreless tie midway through the first half with a rocket shot past Erie junior goalie Zoe Hatch.
“I just let it rip basically,” Fritchie said of the Jaguars’ first-half goal. “We knew Erie could hang with us and that first goal is so big for us.”
It was the seventh goal of the season for the sophomore.
“Fritchie has been such a stud for us all year,” Bervik said. “To see her get one like that gives her so much confidence going forward.”
D’Evelyn leading scorer — Hamblen — added an insurance goal in the 71st minute to finally give the Jaguars’ a 2-0 lead. D’Evelyn had a number of scoring chances that didn’t find the back of the net.
“It was a game honestly that we could have had four, five or six goals,” Bervik said. “I was a little surprised that some of the shots we normally finish went the other way, but I believed in my girls the whole time. They are fighters.”
Hamblen scored her 18th goal of the season on a breakaway that started at midfield. The senior admitted she has been sick and it was a struggle to make such a long run that resulted a one-on-one chance against the goalie. Hamblen eventually tucked a shot into the corner of the net.
D’Evelyn sophomore Lauren Cook added another goal three minutes later to seal the victory. Senior goalie Kiera Hess — starting goalie for the Jaguars in their state title run — recorded her eighth shutout victory of the season and fourth in a row.
“It’s nice to get a clean sheet (shutout) the first two (playoff) games,” Bervik said. “Our defense has been so solid all year long. They have just continued that.”
D’Evelyn joined Jeffco League’s No. 3 Evergreen, No. 4 Wheat Ridge and No. 11 Green Mountain in grabbing second-round playoff wins Saturday. Half of the state quarterfinal field in 4A will come from the Jeffco League.
“I there must be something in the water,” Bervik said. “It’s a testament to our league and how strong we are. It’s a great group of coaches as well that do a great job.”
D’Evelyn hosts No. 8 Silver Creek and Wheat Ridge gets a home game against No. 21 Cheyenne Mountain in the quarterfinals. Evergreen and Green Mountain face off against each other with a state semifinal ticket on the line.
“It’s insane,” Hamblen said of the strength of the 4A Jeffco conference. “The Jeffco League is impressive. It’s insane how good the teams are.”