Most Viewed Stories
- Manitou Springs' Schwall drives the long ball all the way to state
- Vista Ridge claims boys’ track and field team title for school’s first champion
- Palmer Ridge can't overcome two penalty-kick goals in state semis 2-1 loss
- Coronado’s Roth, Discovery Canyon’s Spalding, Canon City’s McCoy dominate
- Peyton's errors cost them 2A baseball playoff run
St. Mary's repeats as 3A girls' state champs
COMMERCE CITY - While riding to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday for their fourth consecutive appearance in the girls’ 3A state championship game, Pirates coach Gregg Braha had a good feeling. Midfielder Christina Whitelaw had the same feeling. The No. 3 Pirates were on their way to defend their title against unbeaten, top-ranked Titans.
Dawn Reachard made Braha and Whitelaw look like a couple of fortune-tellers when she scored in the 14th minute to give the Pirates a 1-0 win and their second consecutive championship.
Reachard scored the game’s lone goal when she outraced TCA’s Tionne Webb to a through ball from Whitelaw. Reachard struck a brilliant shot over goalie Tita Garcia’s head.
“It was just an incredible pass from Bean,” Reachard said, using Whitelaw’s nickname. “I think that’s the hardest I’ve run all season. In my head I was thinking, ‘I got to get this for the seniors.’ That shot was basically for them.”
TCA (19-1) defeated St. Mary’s earlier this season 2-0 and had allowed two goals all season. But leading up to the title game, Braha started to like St Mary’s (16-3-1) chances.
“What we could sense,” Braha said, “yesterday in training, ... in the van rides up here, ... in warm-ups, a very crisp warm-up for us, was a team that benefited from playing here a year ago.”
Whitelaw, who dominated the midfield, said she expected the victory.
“I kept telling everyone, I just had a really good feeling about this game,” Whitelaw said.
Garcia was the reason the game was separated by one goal. She finished with five saves, two where she dived to stop Whitelaw in the second half, one knocking the ball over the bar, the other a one-handed deflection of the ball out of bounds.
TCA’s first appearance in the finals rattled the Titans, coach Blake Galvin said.
“Our big deal tonight I think was nerves,” Galvin said. “We never really got settled into a rhythm.”
Whitelaw was one of five seniors who played in a title game every year of their St. Mary’s career. The second championship was even more enjoyable.
“I think this one has a bigger impact on me,” Whitelaw said. “We just wanted revenge on them. We wanted to be back-to-back champs. We came out and played our best game.”