ABK On Top

On Friday, November 9th, 2018, our Warrior soccer team took to the field against Grandview at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to attempt to win their first state title since 1997. Arapahoe had arguably the hardest route to the state title game with matches against Castleview (25), Arvada West(9), Fairview (1), and Broomfield(11). ABK also had a stellar regular season going 12-1-2, scoring 46 goals and only allowing 9.

Last year, the team had a lack-luster season, only making it to the second round of the 5A playoffs. Prior to this season, the soccer team expressed their confidence and high hopes. With 13 seniors on the team, they knew they were one of the most disciplined and experienced teams in the state. AHS played solid throughout non-conference play but didn’t truly show their full potential until their regular season matchup against 3rd ranked Grandview on 9/25. Arapahoe played a stellar game against Grandview and came out on top with a final score of 3-2.

Soon after the Grandview game, many ABK stars were rocked by the losses of two classmates. On October 4th, the team pulled out a heartfelt win against Mullen and provided a distraction to many students who were struggling at the time. The only loss of the season was to Cherokee Trail but the team rallied back to win their final regular season game 2-1 over Cherry Creek.

Coming into playoffs, Arapahoe carried the 8th seed, but there was no team with more heart than the Warriors. They started with a 3-0 first round victory against 25th ranked Castleview. Next up was 9th ranked Arvada West. ABK played yet another solid game ending in a 1-0 win. The game the team had anticipated most was up next, Fairview. FHS was ranked #1 in the state and 5th nationally boasting a 17-0 record and only three goals against all season. In the 53rd minute, a cross from Zander Hahn found the back of the net off a header by Cameron Gail. This goal was enough to propel them to a massive upset and a berth in the state semi finals.

The semi-final matchup was a game against the back-to-back defending state champion, Broomfield High School. A tight, defensive game was stuck in a 0-0 tie after 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of sudden death overtime. “[Broomfield] was very quick and technical.” said senior forward, Ben Davis. The game headed into penalty kicks. Goalkeeper and captain Spencer Cobb made two extremely clutch saves to seal a trip to the state title game.

The AHS community came out in force to support the soccer team in their final game. A massive crowd packed the stands at Dick’s Sporting Goods park, home of the Colorado Rapids. Leading goal scorer Cam Gail provided his thoughts on the game:  “I was more nervous than I’ve ever been in my life. It didn’t feel real. We were confident going into the game because we had beat them earlier in the season.”

The crowd erupted when the Warriors took an early lead, when junior defender Garrett Lyles directed a ball into the back of the net off a corner kick in the 4th minute. Grandview answered with a goal of their own 4 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. A defensive battle with occasional scoring chances on both sides kept the game tied until the 68th minute., when cross from Cam Gail found Noah Carl in front of the net. Carl accurately placed a shot in the bottom left corner to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes remaining. ABK’s back line played stellar down the stretch and held on to win the state title. Players, coaches, students, parents, and friends were all overcome with emotion after the Warriors earned the state title. “It was bigger than soccer” said Ben Davis. 4 seniors were named First Team All-State, Cameron Gail, Spencer Cobb, Zach Westerman, and Zander Hahn. This incredible run will go down as one of the most memorable seasons in ABK’s long history. Congratulations ABK!