Colorado Springs Christian boys' soccer looks to past as it prepares for playoff run

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Photo - Vanguard mid-fielder, Josiah Simons, left, sets up an offensive attack against Colorado Springs Christian School mid-fielder, Lookens Smith, 16, during the league matchup at the Vanguard School on Thursday, October 8, 2015 in Colorado Springs. Photo by Daniel Owen.
Vanguard mid-fielder, Josiah Simons, left, sets up an offensive attack against Colorado Springs Christian School mid-fielder, Lookens Smith, 16, during the league matchup at the Vanguard School on Thursday, October 8, 2015 in Colorado Springs. Photo by Daniel Owen.

It's been a while since Colorado Springs Christian School hosted a boys' soccer playoff game.

That will change Friday afternoon, when the No. 5 Lions host No. 28 Ridgway.

With a win, the Lions will host again Saturday afternoon with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line.

CSCS (13-2) won the Tri-Peaks 2 League in perfect fashion, rolling through it with 42 goals scored to three allowed.

The last time the Lions hosted, they were considered a state powerhouse. In 2011, CSCS was the No. 1 seed in 3A, and the Lions went 14-4 and reached the quarterfinals. In 2010, the only game they lost was in the state semifinals and in 2009 they won it all. Last year the Lions garnered their highest seed since those powerhouse days, No. 14.

The program has two state titles and plenty of playoff success. Coach Jason Rollins makes sure his team knows about that.

"We look at the banners. We remember the state titles we've had," said Rollins, in his fifth season at the helm for the Lions. ". We try to remind them of the history we have there. We certainly want to play to that."

It helps that one of Rollins' assistants, Zac Egeler, was a part of those 2009 and '10 teams.

The only losses this season for the Lions came five days apart. On Sept. 8, Kent Denver bested the Lions and on Sept. 13, it was Jefferson Academy's turn. Both teams blanked the Lions 2-0.

The Sun Devils are ranked No. 1 in the state tournament, while the Jaguars are No. 6.

The Lions think those losses have them prepared for the competition they'll face and that a deep run can happen.

"I think we're capable of doing it (making a run), if we play hard every game," said Lookens Smith, who leads the team with 17 goals. "Sometimes if we play hard and do the little things, that's what makes the difference, I think. But we are capable of making it if we put our mind to it."

As a senior, Lions goalie Ross Norwood has seen the program return to prominence. He's been part of the varsity program for three years - as a freshman, sophomore and senior. He missed his junior season because of concussions.

Being a part of this resurgence has Norwood happy for a pair of reasons.

"I see this season as a complete blessing in the fact that I can play the sport again," Norwood said. "But also the fact that I am able to be a part of that legacy in that through my hard work as becoming a better goalkeeper, I would be able to influence the chances of us maybe getting another state title or getting as far as we can."

The 4A playoffs kick off Wednesday and the 5A playoffs start Thursday.

Class 3A opens Friday with the second round Saturday. The second round for other classifications are next week.

The Lions are looking to put that home-field advantage to use.

"Getting that is amazing," Norwood said. "That's such a factor in playoff games. I was super excited and the team was too. We've pretty much been eating it up since it happened."