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AURORA — Golden threw everything except the kitchen sink trying to get a late equalizing goal in the Class 4A boys soccer state semifinal game Nov. 13 at Legacy Stadium.
“We sent guys up and took our chances,” Golden coach Larry Harding said of the furious final 10 minutes where Golden had a number of opportunities to score the equalizer against Skyview. “We had one shot that hit the bottom of the post. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
The best chance for the No. 2-seeded Demons came with a minute to play. Golden was awarded a penalty kick to hopefully send the game into overtime against No. 3 Wolverines.
Senior Joaquin Garfias took the penalty kick for the Demons, but Skyview goalie Brian Fierro made a diving save on the hard low shot. A rebound shot by Golden senior Ian Persky sailed high over the goal.
“That’s not the way it was supposed to end,” Harding said as Skyview players celebrated their 1-0 semifinal victory over the Demons. “We had our chances. A PK with less than a minute and we missed it. You can’t ask for a better chance.”
Skyview junior Luis Reyes scored in the 46th minute to give Skyview (18-0-2 record) a 1-0 lead for the majority of the second half. The Demons (16-2-1) hadn’t been shut out all season, but couldn’t find the back of the net despite their efforts.
“We haven’t played from behind too much this season. It’s definitely a separate feeling and a separate game,” Golden senior Sam Markovich said. “We had our chances. We weren’t able to put them away. Unfortunately it spelled the end of our season.”
Despite the disappointment of falling one win short of making a boys soccer state championship game for the first time in Golden’s history, the Demons had plenty of reasons to be proud. Golden claimed its second straight 4A Jeffco League title and had the longest postseason run since 2006 when the Demons advanced to the 4A state semifinals.
“It was great,” said Markovich, who was also named the 4A Jeffco MVP this year. “It’s a little overlooked right now, but looking back at it we’ll look at it as a historic run. This result was unfortunate, but we wish all the best of look to those guys (Skyview) over there. They are a great team.”
The Wolverines did finish their remarkable season making history. Skyview won the school’s first team state title in any sport with a 2-1 victory over Air Academy on Nov. 16 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Golden graduates a dozen seniors from its squad that has won 29 games under the first two years with Harding at the helm of the program.
“The boys have worked so hard and played so hard all season. To go out like that is hard,” Harding admitted. “But that is the game. At times it can be cruel. At times it can be sweet.”
Dennis Pleuss is a media specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com
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