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Panthers soccer battles Coal Ridge in state playoffs

Sky-Hi News staff report
news@skyhinews.com
Middle Park senior Alex Holinka goes for a tackle against Coal Ridge Titan Tony Ayala during Thursday's playoff game at Coal Ridge High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Taking on No. 5 ranked Coal Ridge in the Class 3A state tournament, the Middle Park boys soccer team fell 3-0 on Thursday in New Castle.

The No. 12 Panthers were coming off a two-goal victory over Pinnacle on Monday and a 2-all draw against Arrupe Jesuit on April 14. On Thursday, the boys got a police escort out of town and numerous fans lined the streets to wish them well.

This marked the second consecutive year Middle Park boys soccer has made the state tournament.



That’s impressive, but even more impressive considering the COVID-abbreviated season is concluding with a much smaller postseason field than usual.

Middle Park's Osiel Sandoval gets tripped up by a Coal Ridge Titan during Thursday's playoff game at Coal Ridge High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

And it has been a great year for Middle Park.



Over the course of the regular season, the Panthers complied an 8-1-1 record, defeating DSST: Montview, Lake County, the Academy and Pinnacle in close contests. Facing Lake County, Middle Park got the win in overtime.

Coal Ridge Titan Samuel Fulk and Middle Park Panther Corbin Solomon battle for possession of the ball during Thursday's playoff game at Coal Ridge High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Also, Middle Park put together some blowouts.

The Panthers shut out three foes — Jefferson, Bennett and Sheridan — in addition to logging a 9-1 decision over Bruce Randolph in the Panthers’ season-opener. During the regular season, Middle Park scored 48 goals while only allowing 10.

Coal Ridge had earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament by winning the Western Slope League with a perfect 6-0 run and going 9-0 overall this spring.

However, Colorado Academy entered the tourney as the top seed ahead of Liberty Common, Lamar, KIPP Denver Collegiate and Coal Ridge.

In its only loss this season prior to Coal Ridge, Middle Park played KIPP Denver (11-0) and took the game into double overtime before KIPP got the game-winner.

(This breaking news report will be updated.)

Panther Gustavo Galaviz jumps to gain possession of the 50/50 ball during Thursday's playoff game at Coal Ridge High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

 


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