“It’s a fun environment for the kids to play in,” A-West coach Troy Gette said. “It really helps us learn how to play in these tight games when it matters toward the end of the season.”
A-West senior Tristan Martinez put in the game-winning goal 33 seconds into the second overtime period. The Wildcats played a short ball out of a corner kick and sophomore Judah Johnston centered a pass to Martinez.
“It was amazing. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Martinez said of the game-winning goal in the 91st minute. “It was a great ball served in by Judah. It was perfectly on the shoulder.”
Martinez shouldered the ball down to his feet and hammered a low shot similar to his first goal of the night in the 15th minute that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
“With tall goalkeepers it’s sometimes hard for them to get to the ground,” Martinez said of trying to get the ball past Standley Lake junior goalie Kevin Ruzicka. “That’s exactly where I wanted to put it.”
The win improved A-West to 3-0 on the season and likely will get some consideration to break into the CHSAANow.com Class 5A boys soccer rankings next week. Standley Lake (0-1-1 record) is ranked No. 7 in the 4A preseason poll.
“For early in the season I’m really pleased that we were able to fight back and even it up,” Standley Lake coach Mike Day said. “We had our opportunities to win it in overtime.”
Standley Lake freshman RJ Krapes scored his first goal of his prep career with 1:14 left in regulation time to tie the game 1-1. Krapes fired a sliding shot that rocketed past A-West junior goalie Latham Kleckner and just underneath the crossbar.
The Gators were on the verge of stealing the win when Krapes was taken down in the A-West goalie box midway through the first overtime period to give Standley Lake a penalty shot. However, Standley Lake senior Weston Short’s PK shot sailed over the crossbar to give A-West new life.
A-West is off to a good start with road victories against Mountain Range and Horizon before the 2OT victory against Standley Lake.
“We focused on our start this season,” Gette said. “We have our goals for sure. This is a deep and talented team for sure.”
The Wildcats are coming off a season where they finished second in the 5A Jeffco League behind rival Ralston Valley, but suffered a first-round loss in the postseason.
“We are looking to reclaim that league title,” Martinez said. “Hopefully get it back from Ralston Valley and get them this year.”
Standley Lake also finished second last year in its conference. The Gators took second in the 4A Jeffco League and managed a first-round win before losing to eventual 4A state champion The Classical Academy in the second round. Standley Lake could boost it gave TCA its closest postseason game last year with the Titans edging the Gators 3-2.
Standley Lake hits the road for non-league games against Niwot (noon Saturday, Sept. 2) and Brighton (Tuesday, Sept. 5) coming up. A-West returns to action after Labor Day with games at NAAC next week against Rocky Mountain and Evergreen.