The Pikes Peak region will be represented by 16 teams across three classifications of state soccer tournaments around the state this week, including a No. 1 seed and a defending state champion.
Senior Jack McReynolds leads the Rams back to the state tournament after a first-round exit a year ago. Rampart was the 31 seed in 2016 but returns as the 14 seed this year after an 11-5 regular season.
“I think the boys have a different attitude about the playoffs this year,” Rams coach Karl Anderson said.
McReynolds has been the team’s top attacking threat with 20 goals with as many assists, giving him a part in 40 of the team’s 65 goals this season from the midfield.
“He’s the glue that puts us together between the defense and the offense,” Anderson said.
The Rams get Castle View, the 19 seed, in the opening round Thursday. The Sabercats will enter with a 10-4-1 record, having allowed just 15 goals on the season.
The Eagles won five of their final six matches of the regular season to enter Thursday’s first-round matchup with Regis Jesuit with a 7-6-2 mark, good for the 21 seed.
The Raiders earned the 12 seed with an 11-3-1 record.
Both teams fell in the second round of last year’s state tournament.
Junior Christian Seaquist and senior Jon Schroeder lead Pine Creek with 15 points apiece. The Eagles have allowed four more goals than the 25 they’ve scored thus far.
The Lancers are back in the 5A state playoffs for the first time since a 2013 run to the quarterfinals.
Chaz Woodson's squad turned a 9-5-1 regular season into the 23 seed. Liberty takes on 10th-seeded Cherry Creek (9-6) on Thursday.
Senior Luke Price and junior Nicholas Kuykendall have split time in goal for the Lancers, who have allowed 20 goals this season with seven shutouts.
Junior Caleb Norwood leads Liberty in scoring with 10 goals and six assists, while Brandon Shaughnessy sits on six goals and four assists.
The Air Academy boys’ soccer team earned the No. 1 seed in the 4A state tournament after a perfect 15-0 regular season where the Kadets outscored opponents 73-14.
The Kadets will host Thompson Valley, the 32 seed, Wednesday.
Espen Hosoien’s squad hasn’t been tested since a 2-1 overtime win over Rampart, a 5A state qualifier, on Sept. 21.
“We’re definitely going into the playoffs with a good head of steam,” Hosoien said.
Junior Luke Louthan scored one of his 14 goals on the season in that win. He shares the team lead for goals with senior Kristian Hooker and sophomore Thaddaeus Dewing. Louthan also has 11 assists for a team-best 39 points.
Junior Thomas Beatty has appeared in goal every game for the Kadets and boasts a 1.05 goals against average with 49 saves on the season.
Thompson Valley enters with a 5-8-2 record. One of those losses was an 4-2 loss to Air Academy in September.
The Kadets were the fourth-seeded team a year ago before falling in the second round. This year, they’re hoping for a deeper run with much of the 2016 core still intact.
“Our goal has always been to play good soccer and hopefully get far in the playoffs,” Hosoien said. “That our goal pretty much every year at Air Academy.”
The Classical Academy
The Titans return as one of the top seeds after winning a state title a year ago.
Blake Galvin’s squad turned a 14-1 record into the fifth seed and a first-round date with Longmont on Wednesday.
TCA’s only loss of the season came to Air Academy, a 3-2 game that required overtime, in its second game of the season.
Sophomore goalkeepers Brock Rowedder and Jack Carpenter have allowed just nine goals combined this season. Rowedder has allowed .51 goals per game to Carpenter’s .70 mark, while Carpenter owns 30 saves to Rowedder’s 23.
Jake Slater has scored 23 goals with 11 assists in a standout senior season.
Jeremy Tafoya’s Scorpions earned the 11 seed at state after the RPI did them few favors a year ago when they failed to qualify.
Sand Creek takes a 13-1-1 record into Wednesday’s game against D’Evelyn (9-6). The only blemishes on the Scorpions’ record are a 3-3 draw with Cheyenne Mountain and a 4-1 loss to Air Academy.
Garrett Kramer and Alan Bautista headline a potent offense with 29 and 23 goals, respectively. Sand Creek has scored 104 goals this season.
A year after exiting in the second round as the top seed at state, the Indians are back in 2017 as the 13 seed.
Tomas Martinez’s side finished the regular season 9-4-2 and will take on Standley Lake, the 20 seed, Wednesday.
Rodrigo Periera is the Indians’ leading scorer with 10 goals, while Evan McConnell tallied eight. Sam Kilimann has been the table setter, assisting 11 of the team’s 46 goals.
Standley Lake dropped its final two contests to take an 8-6-1 record into state.
Mario Sigala’s team won six of its seven roads games en route to an 11-4 regular season that earned the 17th-seeded Grizzlies a first-round game against Windsor, the 16 seed, Wednesday.
Senior Tristan Widic has done it all for Mesa Ridge, scoring 24 goals and assisting 13 others for 61 points. Kyle Kuhfeld matched Widic’s assist total and is second on the team with five goals.
Sophomore Kyle Costra was between the posts in nine of the team’s wins.
Windsor won its first 12 games before dropping two of its final three. The Wizards have scored 66 goals and allowed 15.
The Marauders lost in the first round of last year’s playoffs as the 31 seed and return this year in a slightly more favorable position.
Brett Humphrey’s squad is the 24 seed after an 8-6-1 regular season and will play Durango, slotted ninth, Wednesday.
A 4-0 loss to TCA in the Marauders’ regular season finale broke up a four-game winning streak. Junior Eduardo Trujillo leads Mitchell with seven goals and as many assists. Senior Felix Justo has logged a majority of the minutes in goal, averaging 10.2 saves per game.
Durango owns a 10-2-2 record.
The Rangers were one of the last team’s in after posting a 5-10 record this season.
Lewis-Palmer, seeded 31st, gets the No. 2 seed, Kennedy, on Wednesday.
Brian Barkey’s squad closed the year against tough competition. The Rangers final three losses came to state qualifiers in Air Academy (4-1), Sand Creek (3-2) and Cheyenne Mountain (3-0).
Justin Kuot leads Lewis-Palmer with 11 goals. The Rangers have scored 27 goals this season and allowed 33.
Kennedy is 13-1-1 on the year with a plus-34 goal differential.
Colorado Springs Christian School
A year after a trip to the state semifinals, the Lions are back in the state playoffs with a No. 4 seed after a 13-2 regular season.
Jason Rollins squad is aiming for an even better finish after playing the top two seeds to overtime losses early in the season.
“We’re right there with those teams,” Rollins said of top-seeded Jefferson Academy and No. 2 seed Kent Denver.
“I think we’re better than we were then.”
CSCS closed the season on a 10-game winning streak, a stretch they outscored opponents 73-9 en route to a Tri-Peaks league title. They’ll look to extend that streak against Fountain Valley (6-7-1) on Thursday.
“I’m feeling really good,” Rollins said. “We finished the season strong with a good result against St. Mary’s.”
The Lions outscored opponents 90-14 over the regular season.
Junior Lookens Smith and his younger brother Kinsley, a freshman forward, have been at the center of the attack, tallying 55 points apiece. Kinsley leads the team with 26 goals, while Lookens owns a team-best 17 assists. Those two are supported by holding midfielders Tanner MacKay and Noah Banderas, according to Rollins.
The Lion defense posted seven clean sheets this season.
The Pirates closed the season with consecutive losses to fellow state qualifiers to finish the regular season 9-6 ahead of Thursday’s game against Eagle Ridge Academy.
St. Mary’s earned the 11 seed after winning a game in last year’s playoffs as the 19 seed.
Junior keeper Gabe Calhoun has 128 saves on the season and has limited opponents to less than two goals per game.
Connor Timmins, another junior, has a team-high 14 goals and 32 points.
Ben Mack’s Mustangs won their final six to take a 12-2-1 record into the postseason. A 2-1 defeat to CSCS in September is Manitou Springs’ lone loss, and the Lions could earn a rematch if they beat Dawson School (10-3-2) on Thursday.
Jezreal Sommers leads the Mustangs with 17 goals, while Cullen Cote owns seven goals and eight assists.
Lamario Nisbeth’s 28 goals this season led The Gryphons to the 14 seed in the state playoffs in his sophomore year. He added a pair of assists for a 58-point regular season.
Atlas Preparatory was unbeaten in its last eight games of the regular season, including seven wins, good for an 11-2-1 mark on the season.
Teo Jackson’s squad has outscored opponents 48-18 with six shutouts.
The Gryphons opponent, Faith Christian, enters with a 5-6-4 record.
The Jaguars entered last year’s playoffs as the 32 seed and return this year as the 26, earning a first-round game against The Academy (11-1-3).
David Groves’ side scored 72 goals in an 11-4 regular season.
Senior Alex Medina-Bonilla led the way with 20 goals and 11 assists, while Joel Marquez-Medoza added 15 goals and six assists.
Junior goalkeeper Rylan Fish averages 10.6 saves per game.
The Danes will have to score an upset to avoid a second consecutive first-round exit after making a run to the 2015 state championship game.
After a 6-7-1 regular season, Fountain Valley, the 29 seed, takes on fourth-seeded CSCS on Thursday.
Junior Aly Kassam leads four Danes with at least five goals, netting a team-high eight. Freshman Riki Fujimoto has assisted 12 of the team’s 30 goals.