Colorado Academy made history on Saturday. With a 1-0 win over Cherry Creek High School, the Mustangs won their 4th straight Colorado State Championship, something no team in the state has done before. They also become the first team ever to make it to 5 straight state championship games.
CA and Cherry Creek met during the regular season on October 3rd in a close game that CA won 2-1. The championship final would bring another close match-up. After a scoreless first half with few quality chances for either team, the Mustangs brought a higher level of intensity into the second half and began to pick up a little momentum. Experience and confidence from playing in the championship game the previous years may have been a key factor for CA settling into the game in the second half and maintaining their composure. Shortly after a goal by Clara Petch was brought back (called a dangerous play), senior Sammy Little would be in the right place at the right time to put CA on the board as she got behind the Bruins goalkeeper and connected with an assist from senior Maddie Webster. Little's goal gave the Mustangs the 1-0 lead and would prove to be the eventual game winner. The goal was just her second goal of the season.
The 2015 CHSAA State Championship title marks the end of the careers of a very impressive senior class. The group scored 42 of the team’s 65 goals on the season, including 6 of the team’s 8 playoff goals. Senior Clara Petch led the team and state of Colorado in scoring with 18 goals (she also added 14 assists for a total of 50 points for the season). Petch contributed to the offense in all 18 games and scored at least 1 goal in 17 of the 18 games (the game she did not score, she contributed 2 assists). Senior Maddie Webster, who had the championship game winning assist, finished second in scoring, contributing 11 goals and 3 assists on the season. At the other end of the field, senior Emma Richards led a defense (along with junior goalkeeper Bridget Sutter) that finished the 2015 season with 12 shutouts and allowed the fewest goals in the state with 8.
Seniors: Captains Emma Richards (#4) & Maddie Webster (#5), Sage Lochhead (#10), Loida Luna (#12),
Clara Petch (#13), Jackie Melberg (#15), Evan Doherty (#16), Sammy Little (#17)
“We are proud of the achievements of the girls and the coaches. Veronica Scott has done a great job continuing the great tradition that was started years ago,” said Colorado Academy Athletic Director Bill Hall. “The girls worked extremely hard filling the vacuum created by graduation. Next year will provide another challenge, however, we have some tremendous talent returning in the class of ’17, including Nellie Turnage, Isabelle Chandler, and goalkeeper Bridget Sutter.”
Colorado Academy has made 14 trips to the state championship game (1977, 1992-93, 1997-98, 2004-07, 2011-15) and won 7 times since 1977 (1992, 1993, 1997, 2012-15). Can they make it 5 in 2016?
The Mustangs currently hold the #6 spot in MAXFieldHockey.com's West/MidWest Region Rankings.
*All Photos are courtesy of Marc Piscotty
The game-winning goal scorer senior Sammy Little hoists the championship trophy