AURORA | The Grandview girls soccer team’s quest to repeat as Class 5A state champion began with a first round shut out victory Tuesday at Legacy Stadium.
The second-seeded Wolves got the feel for a relatively unknown opponent — No. 31 Horizon — for the first 20 minutes of the opening round contest before a three-goal flurry put them in control and they finished off a 4-0 victory.
Senior Kacy Johnston scored a goal in each half, while fellow senior Shalom Prince and junior Caylin Lyubenko also tallied for coach Tari Wood’s Grandview team, which got assists from a trio of seniors in Kendra Gipson, Lauren Holleran and Tori Parker.
“We didn’t know much about them, but our coaches had some film and knew how they played,” said Johnston, who scored in the run of play in the opening half and then on a set piece in the second half.
“We structured our game plan around what they told us and then we just played like we normally play,” she said.
Senior goalkeeper Madison Livingston needed to make just one save for the shutout for the Wolves, who advanced to a second round matchup against either No. 15 Cherokee Trail or No. 18 ThunderRidge. The Cougars and Grizzlies were slated to play following Grandview vs. Horizon, but had their game postponed to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Legacy Stadium.
The Wolves scored nine goals in their final two games — a 4-0 win over Mullen and 5-0 blanking of Regis Jesuit — and kept on an offensive roll by using the Legacy Stadium field to their advantage by working the outside and putting balls across in front of the goal.
In the 16th minute, Gipson — who recently returned from an injury that kept her out for much of the season — dribbled up the wing and served a ball to Prince, who finished with her head for her team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Just a few minutes later, Grandview had a corner kick opportunity taken by Johnston that sailed high, but ended up on the foot of Holleran, who crossed it into the middle of the field where Lyubenko volleyed it into the goal with her right foot.
Johnston scored her first goal with inside of 10 minutes left in the half when Parker slipped a ball through traffic to her and she drilled it home with her left foot. Her second goal game on a free kick late in the second half.
Aurora teams finished 2-0 in first round contests, as sixth-seeded Regis Jesuit also advanced with a shutout victory over No. 27 Prairie View.
Updated Class 5A girls state soccer scoreboard & schedule, here.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
(2) GRANDVIEW 4, (31) HORIZON 0
Score by halves:
Horizon 0 0 — 0
Grandview 3 1 — 4
Grandview goals: Kacy Johnston 2, Caylin Lyubenko, Shalom Prince. Grandview assists: Kendra Gipson, Lauren Holleran, Tori Parker. Grandview saves: Madison Livingston (1 shot on goal-1 save)