COLORADO SPRINGS — For the last 60 years, the walls of Fairview have been missing a boys soccer state championship banner. Only once had the Knights gotten the opportunity to get one, but that was 36 years ago and they were on the losing end of a title game against Northglenn.
Standing in their way this time was a No. 16 seed that had beaten No. 1, No. 8 and No. 4 and looked to cap off one of the most magical runs in Colorado boys soccer history. But it wasn't meant to be. Sebastien Mazur scored early in the second half and the Knights held on to beat the Bruins 2-0 to claim the Class 5A boys soccer state championship.
"We know the quality of Cherry Creek," coach Eric Schuler said. "They did all the work to get to the championship and it wasn't by accident. They're unbelievably well-coached, they're unbelievably talented and they went through murderer's row to get here."
They showed why in the early minutes of the match. They built chances to score and Blake Wellington saved a shot that came from a rebound on a Knox Quarles save. The Bruins (9-5 overall) weren't going to be an easy team to beat.
But the Knights (13-0-1) were determined to try.
In the 13th minute, Jake Milanski ripped a free kick toward the top of the Cherry Creek goal and just over the reach of Quarles, but it also carried just over the crossbar.
The first 10 minutes of the second half provided the most drama as Cyrus Gulati was taken down in the box, giving the Bruins a penalty kick. Loui took the opportunity but his shot carried high.
"(I let out) a very big (sigh of relief)," Fairview sophomore keeper Shane Williams said. "I've faced a lot of PK's and it's not often that they miss so it always feels good when they do."
The ensuing Fairview possession was when Mazur found his alley ripped a shot toward the Creek net.It was just his second goal of the season, but it will be one he'll remember for the rest of his life.
""We're going to have a banner on the wall now," Mazur said,. "Our names are in Fairview history which is awesome. I feel so proud of my school."
Down a goal, the Bruins pressed late in the second half getting two late corner kick opportunities, but neither resulted in a true scoring chance.
With just under 10 minutes to go, Wellington took a free kick from about 35 yards out that was punched away by Williams who seemed more than up to the task of keeping the Bruins out of his net for the course of 80 minutes.
"It's fun because when I started playing here, it was scary," Williams said. "They're all big and I had never played against anyone that old. Now that I've been here for 10 months, it's fun."
Tristan Hird then added a goal in the 79th minute to push the lead to 2-0 and close the door on Creek's Cinderella run.
This was the second appearance in a state soccer championship game for Fairview. The Knights lost 2-1 to Northglenn back in 1984.