Eighty minutes wasn’t enough to decide the Durango High School and Northfield girls soccer game Thursday in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Playing at the University of Northern Colorado’s Jackson Stadium in Greeley, the first half had some beautiful weather, but ended with out a goal. The wind picked up in the second half and blew in Durango’s face, but regulation ended with the teams still tied 0-0.
“Shortly after the second half started, we had some major wind,” said DHS head coach Melissa Halonen. “We had to defend a lot, and we did it. They worked hard.”
Emy Mattox barely deflected a shot out of bounds after Northfield created a one-on-one opportunity. The Nighthawks also hit the post late, and DHS goalie Jocelyn Feir made a jumping save in the final seconds to send the game into overtime.
“Jocelyn had some big saves tonight,” Halonen said. “She came up big time for us in the second half.”
Northfield won the coin toss before overtime, so the Demons had to continue playing with the wind in their faces. Ariah Velasquez eventually capitalized for Northfield, scoring on a long shot that bounced off the post and in about 2½ minutes into the extra period to send the Nighthawks to Tuesday’s state final.
“I really do think the elements beat us today,” Halonen said. “It was heart-breaking, it really was.”
DHS, which was the tournament’s No. 3 seed, finishes its season 16-3 overall after the loss. Northfield, the No. 7 seed, stayed undefeated, improving to 18-0-1 on the year. The Nighthawks will play the winner of No. 1 Windsor and No. 4 Palmer Ridge in the championship at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I’m super-proud of this group of girls and the progress they’ve made,” Halonen said. “It hurts now not to make the finals, but I hope they’re proud of themselves.”
The coach also thanked the Durango for all of their support... Click here to read full article