Most Viewed Stories
- Prep notebook: Memorial Day all-star baseball games for top prep players
- Cheyenne Mountain rolls over Summit 12-3 in state boys' lacrosse
- Air Academy regroups, downs Steamboat to advance to 4A boys lacrosse final
- Upper Weights Wrestling Peak Performer of the Year: Alex Smith, Pine Creek
- Falcon reopens football coach search after Gille can’t secure teaching position
Pine Creek rallies to advance in boys' soccer shootout in state tourney
Pine Creek overcame a two-goal deficit in Wednesday’s boys’ soccer state tournament first-round game then, after two scoreless overtimes, defeated Ralston Valley on penalty kicks for a 3-2 victory at District 20 Stadium.
Pine Creek scored on all five of its PK chances. Thomas Hogue, Nico Farley, Ian Fletcher, Sean Cleary and Connor Flynn all converted their attempts. Ralston Valley’s fourth attempt, taken by Alexander Makic, was smothered by Pine Creek goalkeeper David Meyer.
“That’s the best feeling in the world,” Meyer said about the game-winning stop.
Getting to penalty kicks was no easy task. The first overtime began with a brilliant save on a penalty kick by Meyer.
“It was golden goal so if they scored, the game was over,” Meyer said. “I didn’t want my team to lose off something like that.”
Not only did the Eagles (12-4) have to escape the first-overtime PK, they also dug themselves a 2-0 hole after all-league defender Aaron Haefner was carried off the field with an abdomen injury.
“He’s the heart and soul of our center defense,” Pine Creek coach Ben Corley said. “It took us a little while to recover from that and we gave up two goals in that span.”
With 24 minutes remaining, Pine Creek halved the gap. Casey Baker chipped the ball out of a crowd and Jack Reynolds ran it down. With his momentum going toward the sideline rather than the goal, he had to step beyond the ball and twist as he shot. He performed the athletic move well as the ball sailed into the far upper corner.
With 5 minutes remaining, Farley launched a 40-yarder that initially looked to have little chance, but it slipped through goalkeeper Davis Oaks’ hands. It was prevented from going into the net when it hit the goal post.
Having dodged that bullet, Ralston Valley (10-5-1) couldn’t evade the next. Pine Creek got the tying goal with just 3:30 remaining when Baker sent a long crossing pass that Brane Pantovic got a head on.
Both of the goals for Ralston Valley, which came into the tournament as the No. 21 seed, were scored by Reece Bolin.
No. 12-seeded Pine Creek will host the No. 28 seed, Gateway, on Monday. Gateway upset No. 5 seed Arvada West.
Amid the celebration at District 20 Stadium, Pine Creek players and coaches alike were trying to put the comeback win into perspective.
“The way these guys finished, it’s probably one of the most epic games in Pine Creek history,” Corley said.