Air Academy's offense stays hot despite temperature
Kadets not too shabby on defense either with 12th shutout
The colder it got, the hotter Air Academy’s offense became.
As temperatures dipped into the upper 30s, the fifth-seeded Kadets put on an offensive display in blanking No. 12 Glenwood Springs 8-0 in the second round of the 4A girls’ soccer state tournament Friday night.
Caren Nelson and Brooke Braden each scored two goals, and host Air Academy (14-3) allowed just two shots on goal en route to its 12th shutout victory of the season.
The Kadets, who have won 10 of 11, will travel to face No. 4 Broomfield (14-3-1) on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Air Academy coach Nancy Sibley was impressed by her team’s offensive mastery in the second half.
“We had some brilliant goals tonight,” said Sibley, whose squad has a 78-7 goal advantage this season. “The play was probably the best I’ve seen this season, as far as being smart goes. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I think our girls responded well to their style of play.”
After managing just one goal — by junior Brooke Watson with 3:07 remaining — in the first half despite a 10-0 shot advantage, the Kadets exploded for three goals in the first 11:14 of the second half. They were just warming up.
Nelson scored twice, including a goal on a shot from 30 yards out, in the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Braden following with a pair of goals to give the Kadets a commanding 5-0 lead. Haley Williamson and Taylor Braden added bombs of their own from the 30-yard range in the final 10 minutes, and Hailey Peterman finished the scoring with 2:05 remaining.
“We talked about it in the locker room and decided we needed to come out in the second half and put a few in, and that’s what we did,” said Nelson, a junior who has already committed to play college soccer at Oklahoma. “Everyone played great tonight, and it was definitely a team effort. We’ve just got to do it again.”
The loss was the first for the Demons (13-2-2) in 14 games and marked the first time they had been shut out all season.
“I hope they go all the way, because they’re a great team,” Glenwood Springs coach Steve White said.
“If we would have shortened up our passes a little bit and held more possession, we would have been better off. Their shot selection in the late part of the second half was unreal.”