The Rampart girls’ soccer program has not had much luck in the state playoffs.

In three appearances since 2012, the Rams have never made it past the first round.

But this year, with a class of nine seniors that is sick of the early exits, the team looked to break the curse and make it past the first round for the first time in program history.

Check.

On Tuesday, Rampart defeated No. 26 Arvada West 1-0 to move on to the second round of the Class 5A tournament.

“We were really hyped and had a lot of energy, and we were really just focused on working together,” said senior captain Arianna Colella. “It’s the seniors’ last change and it’s been a long time waiting for Rampart to go this far.”

But Tuesday’s playoff opener was not the first time the No. 4 Rams made history this year. Rampart completed its first undefeated regular season, and earned the program’s highest state seed. The highest previous seed was No. 16 in 2012.

Learn more about Peak Performer of the Week: Katie Wilcox, Rampart soccer

Colella assisted the game-winning goal with 23:17 to play in the first half. She raced down to the 10-yard line and sent a cross to junior Grace McReynolds who sent the shot past Arvada West’s aggressive goalkeeper Ashleigh Burr.

“It was amazing I could not get the smile off my face, I was so happy,” Colella said. “It completely changed the tone of the game and got us that win.”

McReynolds leads the team with 11 goals and the play marked Colella's second assist of the year.

From there the Rampart defense went to work as Burr locked down in the net, emerging out of the box on multiple occasions to make sliding stops.

“They have to learn they have to keep pushing and not sit back for even a second,” Rampart coach Carisa Whitson said. “All 32 teams in 5A are so strong and you can’t go in thinking you’re going to win 4 or 5-0, even in the first round. I think it’s good preparation for the girls so they know they still have to work the full 80 minutes.”

Rampart kept the Wildcats off the board thanks in part to the Rams' back line to help keeper Katlyn Rosenbaum complete her 11th shutout of the year.

The Rams will face No. 13 Windsor in the second round, to be held Friday at D-20 Stadium. The Wizards defeated No. 20 Monarch 4-2 on Tuesday.

“We just need to keep our focus and keep an eye on our goal,”Whitson said. “Now we’re just focused on the bigger goal in mind, which is winning state. We’re going to keep working on some things but still keeping that mentality and that goal in mind.”

comments powered by Disqus