Paced by Lisa Long's two goals, Cheyenne Mountain girls' soccer advances out of first round

Photo -

Cheyenne Mountain sophomore Lisa Long scored twice before leaving late in the game following a head-on-head collision with Eagle Valley's Rose Sandell.

Holding a bag of ice against her forehead afterward, the Indians' leading goal scorer said she was fine.

"I'm good," said Long, who led 11th-seeded Cheyenne Mountain to a 3-0 win over No. 22 Eagle Valley in the first round of the 4A postseason on Wednesday. "We have more playoffs."

The Indians (9-6) certainly didn't look like a team at the end of their road against the Devils (9-7).

Caitlyn Hoag also scored for an offense that has been more productive of late, and freshman keeper Bella Zanotelli stopped five shots for her sixth shutout of the year.

The Indians will attempt to advance to the quarterfinals for a 14th straight year when they travel to No. 6 Windsor (14-1) this weekend. It will be their first meeting with the Wizards since the northern school knocked them out of the quarterfinals last season.

Cheyenne Mountain coach Tomas Martinez was hopeful that Wednesday's win would serve as a building block.

"Getting this game behind us is huge," Martinez said. "Now that we found that the jitters are beyond us, and now that we have a playoff victory under our belt, I think the girls will come out with a little more confidence."

The Indians' offensive timing wasn't perfect in less-than-ideal conditions at Cheyenne Mountain High School. But they kept attacking.

Going against a cold wind in the first half, Long put Cheyenne Mountain up 1-0 in the 9th minute. Macy Feign tracked down the ball near the end line and centered it for Long, who touched inside the far post.

In the 56th minute, Long added her team-leading ninth goal on a similar setup. It was Claire Ross, this time, who outran the defense and crossed the ball in front. Eagle Valley keeper Brennecke Gale got her hands on it, but couldn't secure it, and Long flicked it in to make it 2-0.

It was the second time the sophomore had multiple goals in a game. Her other was on April 11 when she scored four times in a 10-0 win over Vista Ridge.

"None of my goals came because of me," Long said. "It was the whole team working and getting up. Crosses and through balls, and everyone just trying to put it in the back of the net. I just happen to put my foot on it I guess."

The Indians scored again in the 68th minute with Gale way out in front of her box. Hurrying to get back, Hoag struck a chance from inside 40 yards that outpaced the keeper for her second goal of the season.

Cheyenne Mountain is without four of its key players, who are all out with injuries. A balance of veterans and young players led the march forward Wednesday.

"I've seen so much improvement over the last five games," senior Jamie Burke said. "We just keep growing."