Girls Soccer: Szarka goal enough to give Grandview payback vs. Regis Jesuit, plus spot in 5A semifinals

Grandview junior Morgan Szarka reacts after her shot with just 13 seconds left in the first half found the back of the net during a Class 5A girls soccer state quarterfinal contest between the Wolves and Regis Jesuit on May 17, 2017, at Stutler Bowl. Szarka’s goal stood up in a 1-0 victory for Grandview, which advanced to the 5A semifinals against Mountain Vista May 20. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

GREENWOOD VILLAGE | Revenge hasn’t been a component of the last two Class 5A state championship runs for the Grandview girls soccer team, but it’s a key feature of a possible third.

The Wolves suffered three losses during the regular season and two of the teams they lost to happened to share their quadrant of the state tournament bracket.

Grandview took care of the first one Wednesday evening at Stutler Bowl, as the second-seeded Wolves got a goal from junior Morgan Szarka late in the first half and made it stand up in a 1-0 victory over seventh-seeded Regis Jesuit. It was the same score the Raiders won by when the teams met March 13, a result that ended a 36-game unbeaten streak for Grandview.

Next up for coach Tari Wood’s Wolves is another team that dealt them a loss, Mountain Vista, which awaits in the 5A semifinals Saturday at Legacy Stadium in a game scheduled for 11 a.m. No. 8 Broomfield and No. 12 Arapahoe — which ousted another Aurora team with a 4-0 win over No. 20 Cherokee Trail — meet in the other semifinal game at 1:30 p.m.

Grandview posted its 13th consecutive playoff victory and moved a step closer to earning a chance to win its third consecutive 5A state championship in much less dramatic fashion than its previous game when it had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to win in overtime.

In the quarterfinals, Szarka gave the Wolves all they needed with her first goal of the postseason and 10th overall.

With time running down on a scoreless first half, sophomore Tori Parker had a throw-in deep in the Regis Jesuit end and found Szarka, who was left open near the top of the goal box. Szarka drove a low shot toward the goal that kept slicing away from Raiders goalkeeper Katelyn Martin before finding the far corner of the net.

Martin made a massive save on a ball stung by Grandview’s Jessica Hixson midway through the second half and coach Will Cropper’s Regis Jesuit — which finished 12-3-3 and made the quarterfinals for the first time in 5A — pushed and pushed, but couldn’t get a finish against a Wolves team that posted its 11th shutout in its past 13 postseason games.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel


Score by halves:

Regis Jesuit  0  0 — 0

Grandview     1  0 — 1


First half

Grandview: Morgan Szarka (Tori Parker), 39th minute