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Evergreen struggles to find the net in defeat

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Two timely Green Mountain tallies sends the Cougars to their first defeat

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Peter Jeans decided earlier in the week that his Evergreen Lady Cougars needed to work on finishing shot opportunities in the final third of the field, because getting finishes against a good team is really hard to do. They found that out against Green Mountain.

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Despite having eight corner-kick opportunities to just one for Green Mountain and controlling the offensive flow for much of the March 15 contest, EHS struggled to find the back of the net in a 2-1 loss in the third-place game of the South Jeffco Invitational at Lakewood Memorial Field. The loss was the first of the season for the Lady Cougars (2-1-1).
“It was tough for us because we weren’t expecting that outcome, but we get to play them again,” senior Maggie May said. “Now we have a better idea of what we need to work on and come back as a stronger team.”
Evergreen scored a late goal in its season-opening 1-0 win over Air Academy and tied Chatfield 1-all, though the Lady Chargers “won” that South Jeffco tourney game on penalty kicks that were required by tournament rules. The game, officially, goes down as a tie, but it showed the Lady Cougars’ ineffectiveness at attacking the net thus far.
“It’s not going to come overnight. The girls season is so shrunk that there’s very little preseason practice time,” Jeans said. “To me, this game wasn’t that concerning.”
The same won’t be said when the 4A Jeffco League rivals meet April 16 at Lakewood Memorial Field in a rematch that will have major implications for the conference title.
Jenn Brunsdon scored both goals for Green Mountain (2-1). Her first tally, in the 50th minute, was a left-footer in the right corner past goalkeeper Sarah Temple. A second goal, 14 minutes later, off a rebound of a Mia Dobbin shot, proved to be the game-winner.
Playing the Lady Rams, ranked 10th in the 4A preseason poll, was a good test, Jeans said.
“It is a chance for us to see a team that we’re going to see in a big moment. This is still essentially a pre-league game,” Jeans said.
But it’s a game, or at least a result, that exposed some of the Lady Cougars’ early-season weaknesses.
“We didn’t finish our chances that could’ve put us in command of the game. They finished their first really good chance, and they were suddenly in command of the game,” Jeans said. “We talked at the end about how this game doesn’t determine the future match. It tells us what we need to work on to win that game.”
Evergreen avoided the shutout when Erin Morrato scored off a Nicole Adreon corner kick as time expired. The difference between a 2-0 loss and a 2-1 defeat was a confidence boost, no matter how small, Morrato said.
“I definitely think that was a good way to (end) the game. With a game like that it’s easy to become deflated as a team,” Morrato said. “The idea was, no matter what the score was, that we were still going after in the last seconds. We had 10 seconds on that corner kick, and we got it in and got a finish off that. It showed that, yes, we may have lost, but this is a team that keeps trying.”

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.