Tiernan Freiberger pretty well summed up the Castle View boys soccer season when he said “almost all our games this season have been close.”
Castle View, seeded seventh in the state tournament bracket, notched a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Valor Christian in a game that went to double overtime on April 22. Freiberger got the game-winning goal for the Sabercats.
Then in a quarterfinal match on the road against second-seeded Fairview, the Sabercats battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime but were eliminated as the Knights advanced by winning the shootout on April 24. Castle View finished with a 9-2-0 record.
Cherry Creek, the 16th and final seed, also had two close games, but the Bruins won both to earn a ticket to the semifinals on April 28.
Mitch Hughes scored on a header off a corner kick by Cyrus Gulati in the 78th minute as the Bruins upset top-seeded Regis Jesuit, 1-0, on April 22.
In an April 24 quarterfinal match against ninth-seeded Boulder, Macklin Perry scored with six minutes remaining in the first overtime period in a 1-0 Creek over the Panthers.
Cherry Creek (8-4-1) will play Centennial League rival Grandview (11-1-0) in one semifinal game at 6 p.m. on April 28 at Englewood High School. The Wolves will be out to avenge their only loss of the season since the Bruins beat the fourth-seeded Wolves, 3-1, on the opening day of the regular season.
In the quarterfinal contest against Fairview, Cooper Landry gave Castle View a 1-0 lead with a goal on a header in the 66th minute but Fairview’s Mason Sunderland, who tallied one of the shootout goals, tied the game with 11 minutes remaining in regulation time.
Fairview kept pressure on Castle View the entire second half but Sabercats goalie William Kopp made a few diving saves and Knights, with 20 seconds still on the clock in regulation time, had a shot hit off the cross bar on the top of the goal.
Kopp made 18 saves against Fairview and played an important role in the win over Valor Christian with some key stops and finished with 14 saves.
“He kept us in the game,” said Castle View coach Mark Burfeind after the first round game. “He made some good saves. We started slow but he kept us in and we kept battling and played much better in the second half.”
Castle View was missing two of its top players because of COVID protocols. Jack Pucciano, the leading scorer in the Continental League, and Enrique Mujica missed the Valor game but played in the quarterfinal match against Fairview.
Freiberger’s goal against Valor came after a pass from Bailey Voit.
“Bailey fed me on the right side, the center back turned to the inside, the goal keeper was to the left of the goal, I aimed for the back corner and the shot went right in. It was really cool to come out with a 1-0 win rather than a 1-0 loss. I was hoping it would not come down to a shootout.”
The Eagles lost last season in a playoff shootout to Rock Canyon after a 0-0 double overtime tie.
“So, we were ready for a shootout but kudos to them,” said Valor coach Brian Shultz whose team wound up with an 8-2-1 record. “They got their counterattack, and the guy put it away. I want to congratulate Castle View and that team was first class.”
Field hockey pairings – Pairings were set for the Colorado field hockey semifinals and finals which were played April 26-27 at the Stutler Bowl. Colorado Academy (7-0-2) was top seeded and played Regis Jesuit (7-1) in the first semifinal while second-seeded Cherry Creek (9-1) faced Palmer Ridge (5-0-4) in the second semi.
Wolfe honored – Cherry Creek senior Parker Wolfe, who battled COVID but still won the boys state championship with a record time of 14:10.04, was honored as the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year and was named on April 19 as the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Volleyball regionals – The eight three-team regionals for girls volleyball will be May 1 with each regional champion advancing to the state tournament which will be May 12-13 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.
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