Seniors lead TCA to another league title

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Photo - The Classical Academy midfielder Jonny Stephens, left, fights for possession of the ball at Turf Stadium as the team hosted hosted Mitchell high school on Thursday October 19, 2017 in Colorado Springs. TCA won the game 4-0.  (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).
The Classical Academy midfielder Jonny Stephens, left, fights for possession of the ball at Turf Stadium as the team hosted hosted Mitchell high school on Thursday October 19, 2017 in Colorado Springs. TCA won the game 4-0. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

It’s no secret that The Classical Academy boys’ soccer program wants to return to the Class 4A state title game.

But like any good team, it’d be foolish to look too far ahead.

That one-game-at-a-time focus was apparent Thursday night, when the Titans dominated in a 4-0 win over Mitchell in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League finale at the TCA soccer field.

Jonny Stephens led with two goals assisted by Garrett Troupe’s free kicks, while Jake Slater and Aaron Peck each added a score. Their performances helped the Titans improve to 14-1 and 8-0 in the CSML, as the win marked the school’s fourth consecutive league championship.

TCA still has a lot of soccer left to play.

The Titans are coming off their first successful state title run. In the previous six years, they advanced to a state title game five times in two different classifications.

“We’re looking to have fun, but we’re definitely looking for that title again,” said Troupe, who were one of 10 seniors honored on Senior Night. “We’re pushing ourselves in practice. We’re putting in the work now, so we can put ourselves in a good position at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park,” the site of the state championships in Commerce City.

Thursday, the Titans started their scoring onslaught in the 23rd minute.

That’s when Troupe’s free kick from near midfield found Stephens for a header. That was followed by a goal just before the end of the first half from Jake Slater, who got the ball after Stephens’ header bounced off the goalkeeper’s hand.

TCA took a comfortable 2-0 halftime lead over Mitchell, which finished the regular season 8-6-1 and 5-2-1.

In the final 40 minutes, the Titans continued to control the game.

In the 65th minute, Troupe found Stephens again on a free kick. Stephens finished it with a header as he glided through the air, capping off soccer’s version of an alley-oop. Three minutes later, Peck scored from about 20 yards to put the game out of reach.

“They have some kind of mental connection, somehow,” Titans coach Blake Galvin said, referring to the Troupe-Stephens combo. “They know where each other are going to be and can hit each other with passes consistently, so it’s a great connection they have. Both of them are absolutely invaluable for us.”