Coming off of their first conference title in the last 15 years less than a week prior to their first-round matchup in the 5A state playoffs against Arapahoe (12-3-1, No. 12 seed), the Lady Norse …
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Coming off of their first conference title in the last 15 years less than a week prior to their first-round matchup in the 5A state playoffs against Arapahoe (12-3-1, No. 12 seed), the Lady Norse (13-3) couldn’t contain the explosive Lady Warriors in the 3-0 defeat May 7 at Littleton High School.
“Arapahoe came out strong,” Northglenn coach Kristina Churchill said postgame. “You can tell that those girls have been playing with each other for four years. They capitalized on our simple mistakes. Arapahoe is a good team, and I think our girls can learn a lot from this. There is no point for us to put our heads down.”
Northglenn opened the contest with a couple of scoring opportunities, but after the 3-minute mark, Arapahoe had their way on the offensive end, attempting 20 first-half shots to the Lady Norse’s three. Despite the constant pressure from the Lady Warriors, going to halftime, the scoreboard displayed just a 1-0 score in favor of Arapahoe thanks to the goal from senior Audrey Weiss in the 20th minute. Junior Lady Norse goaltender Lauren Knorr and the defense kept the No. 21 seed afloat.
“Our whole defense is three sophomores and one freshman. They’re studs, and they learn from their mistakes,” Churchill said. “Lauren (Knorr) stepped up big time in goal (despite fighting an ankle injury). She put herself on the line, and she kept everybody positive.”
Keeping the game at a 1-goal margin halfway through the second half, Northglenn offensively played at a much more controlled pace despite the shots on senior Grace Cadorette not being there. The Arapahoe defense allowed Northglenn offensively into their zone in very short, and limited spirts due to their athleticism and discipline. Attempting 17 more shots in the second frame, junior Skylar Golden extended the Lady Warriors’ lead with 18:33 remaining on a header from the beautiful corner kick. Almost 14 minutes later, Weiss recorded her second goal of the contest, putting the game out of reach for the Lady Norse group that never stopped fighting.
With the 2019 season coming to a close for the young and talented Northglenn group, the Lady Norse have just hit the tip of the iceberg of good things to come. Losing only one senior (Nariana Nealy) the sophomore-heavy roster (nine sophomores) will bring everyone else back next year.
“I am extremely excited (for the future). Unfortunately, we are losing Nari (Nealy), but you know what, we have some young girls coming up, even from the JV squad. These girls just keep playing, forming that chemistry and the flow is starting to develop. Next year we will have 15 steps in the season and each step we have to keep learning and continue to grow,” Churchill said.
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