LAKEWOOD — The high school boys soccer season started with the second largest March snowstorm in Colorado history and fittingly concluded the regular season in near blizzard conditions Monday night.
“The season gets delayed because of COVID … playing the end of the season in a blizzard,” Littleton sophomore Roman Chojnacki said after the double-overtime victory for the Lions. “The year couldn’t be any crazier.”
Golden and Littleton faced off in a Class 4A Jeffco League finale at Trailblazer Stadium. What started as freezing rain turned into steady snow by halftime.
Chojnacki ended the scoreless tie with the game-winning goal two minutes into the second overtime. The Lions (6-3-1, 4-3-1 4A Jeffco League) were able to wrap up their season on a winning note.
“The centerback committed. I took a touch to the outside to beat the next guy coming in and I went back post,” Chojnacki said of the game-winning goal.
Littleton finished the season on a three-game winning streak that included 1-goal conference victories over Conifer, Green Mountain and Golden. While the Demons (5-4-1, 5-2-1) had the majority of the scoring opportunities, the Lions were able to find the back of the net for the lone goal.
“I missed a scoring chance earlier,” Chojnacki said. “I had to come back for my senior (Brandon Molina). I had to make him proud. This was by far the best game we’ve played this season.”
Molina is the lone senior graduating this year for the Lions.
“It was one of those games where the bounce could have gone either way,” Golden coach Larry Harding said. “We had our shots. We had more shots that they did, but that doesn’t matter. The one that goes in is what matters.”
Despite three losses in its final four games, Golden is still playoff-bound. The Demons finished second in the 4A Jeffco League just ahead of Evergreen, Wheat Ridge and Littleton to grab an automatic qualifier for the 16-team state tournament.
The 4A Jeffco League’s top-2 team in the final league standing earned playoff spots. Standley Lake (8-2, 7-1) will join Golden in the postseason field.
“It’s been a crazy season and this is our second loss in overtime,” Harding said. “We’ll regroup for the playoffs. We’ve got a few things to work on, but we’ll be ready for the playoffs. I promise you that.”
CHSAA will release the boys soccer state tournament brackets on Tuesday, April 20. First-round games will be played either Wednesday or Thursday this week, with the state quarterfinals Saturday, April 24.