A tough loss: Bulldogs put up a fight before losing to Evergreen

Palisade’s Amelia Davis dives to make one of her 14 saves Tuesday before Evergreen’s Anya Kaufmann can get a shot off in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 loss in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. Kaufmann scored all three goals for the Cougars.

Palisade’s Flannery Davis, 15, celebrates with teammate Natalie Combs after scoring the lone goal for the Bulldogs in a 3-1 loss Tuesday to Evergreen.

The Palisade High School girls soccer team played their hearts out.

Tuesday at Walker Field, the No. 16-seeded Bulldogs played a tough first round Class 4A playoff game with the No. 17 seed Evergreen, losing 3-1.

“It’s not easy to lose,” Palisade coach Raina Sorensen said. “But we’ve learned what a great team we have.”

Although the Cougars came away with the victory, the Bulldogs (11-4) put forward a gutsy performance. Players like freshman Natalie Combs and senior Nicole Lashus battled for every loose ball trying to fight off an aggressive Cougars attack. In the end, Evergreen controlled the offensive tempo for too much of the game.

The Cougars had 19 shots on goal.

“They had more opportunities on goal,” Sorensen said. “We created a few, but we didn’t capitalize.”

Evergreen peppered Bulldogs goalie Amelia Davis throughout the game, but the senior goalkeeper made several impressive saves to keep the Bulldogs within striking distance.

“Amelia is amazing back there and we’ve said that since day one,” Sorensen said. “I think she rose to the occasion like she always does, and without her, that score would have been a lot different.”

Davis finished with 14 saves, but the Cougars were able to slip a goal by her in the 39th minute as Anya Kaufmann scored on a breakaway goal. Kaufmann’s goal gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, which Evergreen held until halftime.

Kaufmann gave Evergreen a 2-0 lead with a goal in the 48th minute. The goal seemed to motivate the Bulldogs, who did a much better job of controlling the field and putting pressure on Cougars goalie Kara Turner.

Palisade finally got a shot past Turner in the 59th minute when Flannery Davis scored.

“We played a good game,” Flannery Davis said. “We didn’t let down and I’m really proud of our team.”

Davis’ goal cut the score to 2-1 with a little over 25 minutes to play. Palisade tried to ride the momentum of Davis’ goal, but couldn’t get many more shots on Turner. The Bulldogs finished with only five shots on goal in the game.

“We didn’t transition as much as we could have,” Flannery Davis said. “It’s hard to lose because we expected a lot, and expected to go a lot further.”

Kaufmann iced the game in the 73rd minute when she beat Amelia Davis on a breakaway.

It was a disappointing end for Palisade to an overall strong season for the Bulldogs. Palisade loses some key players like Davis in goal, but have a solid core of underclassmen returning.

“They know now what they need to do to make it to the next level,” Sorensen said.

In other 4A playoff soccer action around the Western Slope, Battle Mountain lost to Greeley West 10-0, Steamboat Springs lost to Golden 8-0 and Montrose fell at Wheat Ridge 9-0.

In 3A, Coal Ridge defeated Bennett 5-0 led by two goals from Alicia Cokley.


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