Standley Lake boys soccer in driver’s seat in 4A Jeffco after OT win

ARVADA — Four games in five days … no problem for Standley Lake’s boys soccer team.

The Gators finished off four victories from April 6 to April 10 on Saturday at the North Area Athletic Complex. Standley Lake needed extra time, but senior Brandon Pulido hammered home a loose ball just inside Golden’s goal box four minutes into overtime to give the Gators a 1-0 victory.

“It kind of happened in a blur,” Pulido admitted. “I just dropped my head. I knew where the goal was and fired it.”

Standley Lake senior Brandon Pulido, left, scored the game-winning goal Saturday afternoon at the NAAC. Pulido scored 4:30 into the first overtime to give the Gators a 1-0 victory. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Standley Lake (6-1, 5-0 in Class 4A Jeffco) has rattled off six straight victories after a season-opening non-league loss to Arvada West. Senior Kellan Bundgaard has been carrying the Gators offensively with 10 goals over the first six games, but it was Pulido’s turn to put in the game-winning goal Saturday.

“The last two games teams have been triple-teaming him (Bundgaard) so I’ve been trying to get everyone to play off of him somehow,” Standley Lake coach John Cole said. “I knew it was going to be one of those plays where Kellan give it to someone else or he throws it to the middle and someone kicks it in.”

With Golden — No. 9 in the 4A boys soccer rankings — focusing on shutting down Bundgaard, Pulido was able to find some open space to break the scoreless game.

Golden senior goalie Connor McCormick had the save of the day in the first half with a leaping save on a direct free kick by Bundgaard in the first half, but McCormick had no chance against Pulido’s rocket.

“These guys didn’t want to take a tie,” Cole said of the mindset going into overtime. “I was onboard with that. They are carrying their own load. It’s a great team.”

Standley Lake senior Zach Garcia (3) and Golden senior Sam Bauer (24) battle for the ball during Saturday's afternoon game at the NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Golden sophomore Andres Garfias had the Demons best scoring chance in the first half and nearly ended the game with less than 2 minutes left in regulation time. Garfias fired a shot that hit the post.

Golden (5-2-1, 4-1-1) was coming off a big win the day before against No. 10 Evergreen (5-1, 4-1). Standley Lake hosts Evergreen at 4 p.m. Monday, April 12, at Standley Lake High School.

“I like it. These guys have really pushed the limits,” Cole said of his Gators playing four games in five days. “They are shredded right now so it’s good that we get one day off before we hit Evergreen.”

Standley Lake closes out the regular season next week against D’Evelyn and Alameda International. Cole believes Evergreen will be the biggest challenge left for Standley Lake as it zeros in on a conference title, he knows the Gators can’t let up during the final week of the regular season.

“It feels really good,” Pulido said of the position the Gators are in to win the league title. “Our team has been together for so long. We play super well together. We are always lifting each other up.”

Standley Lake senior Kellan Bundgaard fires off a shot during the Class 4A Jeffco League game Saturday afternoon against Golden. The Gators improved to 6-1, 5-0 in conference with the victory. Standley Lake closes out its regular-season against Evergreen, D'Evelyn and Alameda International next week. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)