The final score seemed to suggest that the Atlas Prep boys' soccer team had a difficult time putting its opponent away.

But that's far from the truth.

After all, this was a state playoff game.

The No. 1 Gryphons scored twice in the first half en route a 2-0 home win over No. 32 Alamosa on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Class 3A tournament. Atlas Prep wrapped up the contest by constantly attacking, even forcing some shots to hit the goal post.

Atlas Prep will play No. 16 Colorado Springs Christian School (9-5-2) on Tuesday. The Lions topped No. 17 Coal Ridge 5-0 by erupting for four second-half goals.

The Gryphons got the result that they hoped against Alamosa despite entering Thursday's contest averaging nearly five goals and having posted three 10-goal games.

"I'm happy with the way we played," Atlas Prep coach Teo Jackson said. "The score doesn't really matter at this point."

Senior Frank Hanson knocked in the first goal, a 20-yarder in the 18th minute to give the Gryphons a 1-0 lead. That was followed by another long score, this one a 25-yarder from senior Demetrio Araiza in the 30th; he got the shot after his team cleared a corner kick.

And that's all Atlas Prep (15-0-1) needed.

"I didn't think it was enough," Araiza said, "but every team in the playoff is going to be tough to beat. So two goals for us is a good result. There's still a lot of things we need to improve on, so we'll be working on that."

Throughout the second half, the Mean Moose (7-8-1) packed the box with defenders. That made it that much harder for the Gryphons to expand their lead — though they had several scoring opportunities.

After the game, the Atlas Prep players and coaches were already thinking about their next matchup.

And it's projected to be a good one.

CSCS prevented Atlas Prep from a perfect regular-season record, forcing the Gryphons to a 1-1 tie Oct. 9. Tuesday's matchup is at Atlas Prep.

"CSCS is well coached," said Jackson, the Gryphons coach who took over the program since its inception just three years ago. "And I'd love to play them again."


Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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