2013 CHSAA 3A Girls Soccer State Championship

I got the opportunity with MaxPreps to cover the Colorado High School Girls Soccer State Championships over at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City this past week.  Two days of soccer and I was really looking forward to it.  Many people know, basketball is my favorite sport to shoot, but soccer is quickly becoming my second favorite to shoot.  It might be because I shoot the Colorado Rapids and I am at this stadium quite a bit.  I shot this game and the next two on the next evening along side Ray Chen, another MaxPreps photographer.  For this 3A game between The Colorado Academy and Peak to Peak, I decided to set up a remote camera.  I used my Canon 1D Mark II on my custom floor plate, and triggered it with Pocket Wizard remotes.  Unfortunately, I only got one useable image from the remote.  So I chose not to set it up for the next night, and that was when I should have set it up.

May 21, 2013: MaxPreps photographer Ray Chen walks past my remote camera behind the goal prior to the start of the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: MaxPreps photographer Ray Chen walks past my remote camera behind the goal prior to the start of the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

The shot above is the only remote shot worth keeping.  I have shot remotes in baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball and sled dog racing over about 10 years, and I get one or two shots every ten games or so, but, if I do not set it up, then I have no chance of getting the shot.  I was really hoping with where the sun was and how blue the sky was, that I would get a great shot of the goalie diving for the ball from this angle, but, no plays brought the ball here.

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore defender Grae Roda (16) clears the ball against The Classical Academy Titans in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore defender Grae Roda (16) clears the ball against The Classical Academy Titans in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

This game was also a great tool to separate pro photographers from the hobby shooter or parents with cameras.  It was really hard to shoot.  With the time of day that the game started, half the stadium was bathed in sun, the other half in shadows from the stands.  So, if I wanted to shoot in the sun, I would have been shooting most of the game directly into the sun which would not have been ideal.  By shooting from where I did, in the shade, I had to shoot at a much higher ISO than in the sun, and I had to shoot full manual because the sunlight on the stands in the background was really screwing around with the camera’s on board exposure meter.  A lot of people will say shoot in shutter priority, let the camera figure out the aperture or shoot in aperture priority, let the camera figure out the shutter, but in this situation, almost all of the camera metering patterns would tell me that the image is way to bright and try to give me too fast a shutter speed making shots like the one above almost black in the area of the player, but perfectly exposed bleachers in the background.  Ideally, a little fill flash would have been really good, I could have lowered my ISO a bit, but I really do not like using flash for outdoor sports unless absolutely necessary.

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior midfielder Meghan Troupe (13) attempts to get the ball past Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Kyle Robbins (11) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior midfielder Meghan Troupe (13) attempts to get the ball past Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Kyle Robbins (11) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

I had not shot either one of these teams before, so really did not know what to expect, other than some good soccer.  It was the state championship after all.  So even while battling the light, I was looking forward to the action and capturing it.

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans freshman Mikayla Murphy (19) sets to head the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game against the Peak to Peak Pumas at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans freshman Mikayla Murphy (19) sets to head the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game against the Peak to Peak Pumas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Unfortunately, a lot of the action that took place close to me, was right in front of me.  A little too close for my 120-300 lens, and quick enough that switching to my 1D with 70-200 on it, it was over and the ball moved on.  This is one time that an assistant would have come in handy, ready to hand me my other camera when the action gets closer.  I think this summer I will work on my grab shot technique.

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior midfielder Meghan Troupe (13) and Peak to Peak Pumas senior defender Brynna Bostic (9) both attempt to head the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior midfielder Meghan Troupe (13) and Peak to Peak Pumas senior defender Brynna Bostic (9) both attempt to head the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

The first half of the game, neither team was able to score.  Both teams were playing some good soccer, but both defenses were right there.  So, we went into halftime tied 0-0.

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Belle Morel (12) collects a pass in front of The Classical Academy Titans senior defender CheyAnn Queener (12) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Belle Morel (12) collects a pass in front of The Classical Academy Titans senior defender CheyAnn Queener (12) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

I really like the shot above.  It is not the best action shot from the game, but the optical illusion is neat.  It almost looks like Belle Morel from Peak to Peak is palming or dribbling the ball with her hand.  It is about a foot behind the ball, but where the ball was when I captured the image makes for an interesting shot.

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore midfielder Brianna Wetmore (3) keeps the ball away from the defense by The Classical Academy Titans senior defender CheyAnn Queener (12) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore midfielder Brianna Wetmore (3) keeps the ball away from the defense by The Classical Academy Titans senior defender CheyAnn Queener (12) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Probably the girl that was the most fun to shoot was Puma’s sophomore Brianna Wetmore pictured above.  Lots of energy and hair flying whenever she had the ball or was going after the ball.  In fact, in the play above, I had about 6 photos of it, some had better action, but this was the only shot where both girls hair was not covering their faces.  But, as got as the action was in the second half, we ended regulation still tied at 0-0.

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior goalkeeper Claire LaValley (00) pounces on the ball in front of Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore midfielder Brianna Wetmore (3) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Classical Academy Titans senior goalkeeper Claire LaValley (00) pounces on the ball in front of Peak to Peak Pumas sophomore midfielder Brianna Wetmore (3) in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Colorado State Championship Soccer overtime is 15 minutes with the golden goal.  However, in overtime, we still went scoreless, and were looking at a 2nd OT to decide the 3A State Champions.

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Ivy Devries (15) and The Classical Academy Titans senior defender Sarah Turner (7) battle for control of the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: Peak to Peak Pumas senior midfielder Ivy Devries (15) and The Classical Academy Titans senior defender Sarah Turner (7) battle for control of the ball in the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer Championship Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

So, going into the 2nd OT, I was starting to think shootout.  If things ended in a tie after the second OT, the teams would have gone to a shootout and I was hoping my remote was set up at the correct goal.  Then, with about a minute and a half left, Peak to Peak had a corner kick and Puma’s senior Belle Morel connected with the ball to score the golden goal and knocking off the top ranked Colorado Academy Titans for the State Title.

May 21, 2013: The Peak to Peak Pumas pile on top of each other after defeating The Classical Academy Titans 1-0 to capture the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer State Championship at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Peak to Peak Pumas pile on top of each other after defeating The Classical Academy Titans 1-0 to capture the Colorado 3A Girls High School Soccer State Championship at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Unfortunately, I missed the dumping of the Gatorade over the coach.  It did not look like the girls were going to do it, and I went and shot all of the post game jubes, and holding the trophy over the head and as I was packing up and everyone was picking their gear up, there it was, one drenched coach.  Bummer.

May 21, 2013: The Peak to Peak Pumas hoist the Colorado 3A State Championship trophy over their heads after defeating The Classical Academy Titans 1-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

May 21, 2013: The Peak to Peak Pumas hoist the Colorado 3A State Championship trophy over their heads after defeating The Classical Academy Titans 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

Congratulations to the Peak to Peak Puma Girls on their CHSAA 3A Soccer Championship!  To view and purchase more photos from this game, please visit MaxPreps.

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