LAKEWOOD — Survive and advance was a very appropriate motto for Golden boys soccer team Saturday afternoon at Lakewood Memorial Field.
“You just get the result you want and move on,” Golden coach Larry Harding said after the No. 2-seeded Demons sweated out a 1-0 victory against No. 31 Denver West. “They didn’t play well. They didn’t play up to their standards, but they found a way to win the game and that is what champions do. We’ll be ready for the next one.”
Golden (14-1-1 record) got off to a quick start. A feed from Golden junior Daniel Erger set up senior Christian Sekavac for a goal in the 2nd minute. It would be the lone goal of the game.
“We were lucky to get that early goal,” Sekavac said. “It was a great ball by Daniel (Erger).”
The Demons had a number of scoring chances, but failed to get any kind of a cushion in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament.
“Not at all,” said Sekavac when asked if he thought his goal 90 seconds into the game would be the only goal. “We had a lot of chances that honestly we should have finished. It was one of those games we just had to grind out.”
Golden defense was solid in front of senior goalie David Koury. The best scoring chance by the Cowboys (8-6-1) came with about three minutes remaining. Senior Francisco Bustillos popped a ball over the head of Koury, who had come out to challenge. Koury was just able to scramble back to grab the ball before it crossed the goal line.
“You never know how the game is going to shake out,” Harding said. “The other team is here to win as well. Give Denver West some credit. They gave us a hard game.”
The Demons have the task ahead of finally getting past the second round of the state tournament. It has been well over a decade since Golden has made a deep postseason run. The program has never won a boys soccer state championship.
Sekavac admitted there is some extra pressure with the Demons holding that No. 2 seed.
“We have to win Tuesday. That’s our plan,” Sekavac said. “I believe we can do it. I put all my trust into this team. It’s an amazing group of guys that are very talented.”
Golden hosts the winner of No. 18 Regis Groff and No. 15 Niwot on Tuesday, Nov. 5. That game will likely be played at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada.
The Demons are lined up to host all the way through the quarterfinals as long as they keep winning. The semifinals are scheduled for Nov. 13 at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
“We’ve got somethings to work on. Somethings to clean up,” Harding admitted. “We’ll go back, doing some teaching and work on those things.”