Evergreen’s season over, but future looks bright

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By Michael Hicks

BROOMFIELD — It was just one play. Other than that the Evergreen Lady Cougars, before and after the game, felt they belonged with fourth-seeded Broomfield in the 4A state girls soccer playoffs.
But that one play — a corner kick from Chaya Ahrens to Kerri Marquardt, who one-timed the ball into the lower right corner of the net — was all the Lady Eagles would need for a 1-0 victory on May 11 at a rain-soaked Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium. Broomfield (13-3-1) stretched its unbeaten streak to eight games.
“You hate losing on a set piece goal. It happens,” Evergreen head coach Peter Jeans said. “Sometimes you win on them and think how brilliant you are. When you lose on them you don’t want to think how dumb you are.”
It didn’t help that Evergreen (10-3-4), which lost for just the second time in its last 10 games, played without senior Ellie Petrik. The Lady Cougars’ top scorer, with 10 goals this season, aggravated a torn quadricep during her overtime game-winning goal against Battle Mountain in the first round. Her absence was felt.
“It’s a major disappointment for her. She’s a difference-maker,” Jeans said. “It could’ve made a little difference.”
Without Petrik, Evergreen managed just two shots on goal. But even without much offense, the 13th-seeded Lady Cougars certainly didn’t feel like a team that was outplayed.
“I don’t think we were bet on to win, but coming out here I definitely think we had a better chance than we thought we had (May 10),” senior Taylor Rauch said. “It was kind of a tough loss because I think we were definitely the better team. We just didn’t bring it all the way.”
Yet, even in defeat, Evergreen, which didn’t make the postseason last year, have a lot to look forward to. The Lady Cougars not only challenged for a 4A Jeffco League title, but also hosted and won a playoff game in 2012.
“I think next year we’re going to set the bar very high. We want to win a state championship,” Jeans said. “... There were a few times in the game where we had eight, nine and 10 sophomores and freshmen playing at any one time. We got the No. 4 seeded team and we were carrying the play at times. That tells you that in the future the bar is set very high.”