Sinner, Hoppe earn trip to state golf tournament
Fruita Mounument senior Jessica Sinner and Central senior Brittany Hoppe each placed in the top 14 in the Class 5A Northern Regional tournament Wednesday at Riverdale Knolls in Brighton to qualify for the state tournament.
The Class 5A state tournament is May 21-22 at Aurora Hills Golf Course.
Sinner and Hoppe are going to state for the third time.
Sinner placed sixth with a 4-over-par 77. Hoppe shot an 82.
Fruita Monument’s Hannah Englebrecht tied for the final qualifying spot with her best round (87), Fruita coach Bruce Shepherd said, but lost in a playoff to Legacy’s Morgan Hose on the first hole.
Englebrecht is the first alternate to replace a qualifier if any of the qualifiers drop out or are disqualified prior to the tournament.
Central’s Sarah Robbins is the second alternate. She shot an 88.
Grand Junction girls soccer coach Joe Graham believed it would be a worthwhile experience for his club to soak in the rigors of a long trip before being forced to play a perennial power on the road in the first game of the Class 5A state tournament.
Graham just wishes his Tigers could have savored the experience a little longer before being forced to play their way out of a hole.
Fairview’s Savannah Beetcher scored goals less than 1 minute into each half, sending the 18th-seeded Tigers to a 3-0 loss in Boulder.
“It’s always tough to come out of a hole, but I was hoping being down might get us fired up,” Graham said. “I was hoping we could go that way. Unfortunately, we have to work on our strength and being able to hang in for these games so we don’t get worn down physically.
“That’s what happened against Smoky Hill, Columbine and Fairview. These Front Range teams, they are cut from a strong mold of talent pools. We’re working on that. We’re going to come back and give them a better game next year.”
Beetcher wasted no time getting Fairview off on the right foot, scoring her first goal just 31 seconds after kickoff. Beetcher took a pass from Daphnee Morency before maneuvering around a Grand Junction defender and firing a shot past Tigers goalkeeper Lexi Anderson.
Anderson was under fire all night, as Fairview put together a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal. But she kept the Tigers in the game through halftime until the Morency-to-Beetcher connection went to work again. Beetcher, off a feed from Morency scored her second goal just 33 seconds into the second half, and a goal by Fairview’s Berkley Gamble less than 2 minutes later essentially sealed Grand Junction’s fate.
“We kept saying that being here was a big statement about who we were as a team this year,” Graham said. “We got ahead of the other two 5A schools in our area, and we’re proud of that. We’re definitely looking forward to next year.”