No. 2 Golden boys soccer claims back-to-back 4A Jeffco titles

ARVADA — Golden senior Josh Colin wanted the Demons to clinch the Class 4A Jeffco League boys soccer title in style Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex.

Colin put the eventual game-winning goal into the back of the net in the 73rd minute to break a 1-1 tie late in the second half. Colin added a second goal — 10th of the season — in the 78th minute to seal a 3-1 victory and wrap up back-to-back conference titles for the Demons (12-1-1, 5-0 in league).

Golden senior Joaquin Garfias (11) battles near the sideline with Evergreen sophomore Landon Freeman (19) during the first half Thursday at the NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“It means so much. We’ve been working so hard since the summer. All that work paid off,” Colin said after Golden’s 9th straight victory. “Our mentality is to win every single game. We want to continue this at state.”

It took a long run and great long feed from Golden junior Daniel Erger to set up Colin’s first goal that gave the Demons their first lead of the game. Coming after a corner kick by Evergreen (5-9, 3-3), Erger pushed the ball up field. Near midfield he launched a long pass to Colin on the opposite side of the field.

“He (Colin) had been calling it all game,” Erger said of sending the long pass. “I put as much as I possibly could on it. The wind might have taken it a little bit. I’m super glad he put it in the back of the net. It was an awesome close to the game.”

Colin was able to slip a low shot past Evergreen goalie Keaton Gressman. The shot hit the inside of the left post and into the back of the net.

“I wanted to keep on running because I saw a big gap,” Colin said talking about the go-ahead goal. “I saw Daniel control the ball and I just starting yelling at Daniel to send it. I just wanted to score and lead this team to a win.”

Golden — No. 2 in the 4A boys soccer rankings — had a chance to clinch the 4A Jeffco League title last year against Evergreen, but suffered a 3-2 loss. The Demons eventually wrapped up the conference title win a victory over Wheat Ridge in the league finale last year.

Golden junior Daniel Erger (9) attempts to break toward the goal as Evergreen junior Rouven Ringeling (18) hold his ground. Golden had two late goals to grab a 3-1 victory over Evergreen. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“Evergreen is always a tough team. It’s a great program. I have so much respect for Ross (Evergreen coach Ross Fowler) and those boys,” Golden coach Larry Harding said. “They took us down last year. It was nice to get them this year.”

Evergreen was No. 38 in the RPI standing entering the game. The best chance to make the 32-team 4A state tournament field was to take runner-up in 4A Jeffco to grab an automatic playoff bid.

It was looking good for the Cougars early with a goal from junior Cody Couch in the 2nd minute. However, Golden tied it up in the 17th minute with a rocket volley into the back of the net by senior Nate Thompson.

“It was a heck of a game,” Harding said. “I didn’t know which way it was going to go.”

Golden has one conference game remaining. The Demons face rival Wheat Ridge next Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Lakewood Memorial Field before heading to the postseason the following week.

“Our goal all season has been to get as many wins as possible and go out as hard as we can every single game,” Erger said. “The rivalry game against Wheat Ridge is going to be fun hopefully we’ll come out with a win as well.”

Evergreen is finished with league play, but had a non-league game next Thursday on the Cougars’ home field against Denver West (7-4-1). It’s going to be a wait-and-see situation for Evergreen when it comes to making the postseason field.

Golden senior Nate Thompson (2) is greeted by teammates after he scored in the 17th minute in the first half to tie Evergreen at 1-1 in the conference battle Thursday night at the North Area Athletic Complex. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)