Legacy defeats Ralston Valley in playoff opener

WESTMINSTER – Legacy’s prolific goalscorer – Cooper Stephens – admitted he was a little frustrated Wednesday night at North Stadium.

The junior had luck after chance to put the ball in the back of the net in the first 40 minutes of the class 5A 1st round playoff. The number 7 seeded Lightning dominated the possession and scoring chances, but number 26 Ralston Valley kept the game going scoreless until half-time.

“It was tough,” Stephens said. “I went out earlier this week and worked on my shots. I wanted to score a bunch today. One was enough and we won the game.

Stephens scored his 21st goal of the season in the back of the net in the 52nd minute. That was all Legacy needed as it took a 1-0 win to advance to the knockout stages on Tuesday, November 2, where they will host their rival and No.10 Broomfield.

“I had done the same race during the game,” Stephens said of his header on second Lucas Monstera’s corner. “I put my head in it once and it hit the crossbar. “

Stephens put the game-winning header out of the reach of Ralston Valley goalkeeper Donovan Meador. Mustangs starting goalie second Parker Scott was brilliant in the first half. However, Scott took a knee to the head in the first minute of the second half when Legacy senior Scott Croff collided with Scott as he chased a loose ball into the goal area.

“He (Scott) had a great first half and played really well,” Ralston Valley coach Jamie Scarcliff said of the second-year goaltender. “I’m proud of Donovan, also in second year, for having been in a big game. The two stepped up. They gave us the chance to stay there.

Ralston Valley (8-7-1) hadn’t had a lot of shots on goal until the end of the second half. The Mustangs’ best scoring chance came in the 60th minute when junior Pablo Molla Tejero fired a shot across the crossbar.

“I think we started to shoot the last 8 minutes of the game,” said Scarcliff. “I wish it had started a little earlier, but once again I’m proud of the kids they didn’t give up and stayed the course. “

Legacy (13-2-1) was unable to score an insurance goal as Meador was solid in goal for the Mustangs.

“They were much better than we all expected. I congratulate them on that, ”Stephens said of Ralston Valley. “They had a great season.

Stephens and the Lightning look to their rival Broomfield who came back from behind to defeat No.23 Columbine 2-1 in another first round match on Wednesday night. Legacy beat the Eagles 2-1 earlier this season.

“Their program never made it past the quarterfinals,” Stephens said. “This is where we strive to get.”

Ralston Valley started the season 1-5 before having a strong run to the playoffs. The Mustangs entered the playoffs with a 4-game winning streak, with all wins coming through shutouts.

“They’ve worked really hard throughout the season,” Scarcliff said of his team. “I think we being so young this season, it took us a while to find our timing together. It took us a while to build and connect. It helped us play harder at the end of the season. .

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