Montrose soccer team falls in second round of 4A playoffs
It wasn’t until three minutes remained in the game that Cheyenne Mountain put away Montrose with a goal to go ahead 2-0.
Even then, Montrose boys soccer coach Jim Pavlich said his players poured everything they had into those final few minutes to try to come back.
It wasn’t to be for Montrose in its 2-0 loss in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs Tuesday. Cheyenne Mountain (14-3) lived up to its No. 3 seed in the tourney, but Pavlich believes Montrose (10-5-2) threw a sizable scare into Cheyenne Mountain.
“It was a heck of a match,” Pavlich said. “We were in it right until the end. We played hard up until the whistle blew.”
Pavlich said both teams were physical and aggressive toward the end of the game, Montrose because it desperately needed a tying goal and Cheyenne Mountain because it needed some breathing room.
The physical play led to a foul at the top of the 18-yard box by Montrose, and Christian Nehme took the ensuing direct kick. He drilled a hard shot from straight away for the final goal.
“The kid just hammered it. It was a great shot,” Pavlich said. “It was a ripper right under the bar, center of the goal. It was the closest you get to being a penalty kick.”
Sean Halverson gave Cheyenne Mountain the lead 11 minutes into the contest on another great goal, Pavlich said. Montrose goalkeeper Keegan Sullinger stopped the initial shot by Spencer Wegner, but the carom went to his right, and Nehme was in position to finish.
The initial save by Sullinger was a terrific play, Pavlich said, adding even though Sullinger got both hands on the ball, Wegner’s hard shot was uncatchable.
Sullinger finished with 12 saves.
Cheyenne Mountain had a 14-1 advantage in shots on goal, but Pavlich said his team spent its fair share of time at Cheyenne Mountain’s end of the field, and Montrose “had about 15 really quality chances.”
Cheyenne Mountain’s defense earned praise for its ability to deny shots.
“I’d say that’s the first game all season a defense has closed the shooting lanes on us,” said Pavlich, who estimated Cheyenne Mountain’s back line blocked a half-dozen shots, saving goalie Erich Frey from needing to make plays.
The shutout was Frey’s 11th of the season.
Pavlich gave Cheyenne Mountain its due and applauded his players for staying in the game the entire way against an excellent team.
“I wish (Cheyenne Mountain) the best of luck, and I’m proud as heck of our guys,” Pavlich said. “I’m really going to miss this group. They were a fun bunch to coach.”