2013 HS Girls 5A Playoff Soccer – ThunderRidge at Ralston Valley

I was seriously considering blowing off this game.  Originally, I was going to shoot this game, and then shoot as much of the following game as the light would allow me.  During the regular season, double headers started at 4 and 6, but for these 5A CHSAA tournament games, the start times were moved back an hour to 5 and 7.  Most of the day it was pouring down rain, but about an hour before I was going to leave for the game the sun was out and it looked really beautiful out.  But then on the way to the field, it started to rain, and rain hard.  Hail even started falling at one point.  If it had not been for no local games so far in the week, I might have just turned around and gone home.  But I really needed to shoot something, and rain or shine, I wanted to get out on the pitch.

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Brenna Marinez (17) jumps over the downed ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Erin Speer (12) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Brenna Marinez (17) jumps over the downed ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Erin Speer (12) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

At least it was not snowing.  But it was cold, and wet.  I decided almost as soon as I got there I would not stay for game two.  The weather was making the pitch slick and muddy in spots, but that made for some exciting play.

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Brenna Marinez (17) and ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Sanela Hodzic (21) chase after the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Brenna Marinez (17) and ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Sanela Hodzic (21) chase after the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

I must apologize.  Between the rain and wind, and learning a new sharpening style for Adobe Lightroom, these are not my best shots, although, I know I am more critical on my own photographs than anyone else.

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Maddie Allensworth (5) and ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Mealii Enos (14) battle for control of the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang junior Maddie Allensworth (5) and ThunderRidge Grizzlies freshman Mealii Enos (14) battle for control of the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

It poured the entire first half.  The girls were soaked and cold, but they were fighting through and while no one scored in the first half, it was some really good soccer.  One thing I noticed right off, the main official was not calling flops or dives unless it was real, real convincing.

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies sophomore Grace Hoffman (16) heads the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies sophomore Grace Hoffman (16) heads the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

Keeping the ball dry was impossible, so throw ins and headers were an adventure at times.  Many of the headers did not seem to go exactly where they were intended, and the throw ins were not as accurate, but both teams were giving all they had.  It was win or your season is over.

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang freshman Alaina Snedden (7) flies into intercept a pass by ThunderRidge Grizzlies senior Maddie Shelton (25) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustang freshman Alaina Snedden (7) flies into intercept a pass by ThunderRidge Grizzlies senior Maddie Shelton (25) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

Both teams were going back and forth with a lot of scoring chances, but neither team could find the back of the net.  The teams went into half time tied 0-0.

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies senior goalkeeper Kristen Rossi (00) needs help tying her shoes from senior Maddie Shelton (25) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies senior goalkeeper Kristen Rossi (00) needs help tying her shoes from senior Maddie Shelton (25) in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against Ralston Valley at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

It was more of the same in the second half.  But, right as the second half started, the rain stopped for a while, and never really came back too hard.  Which was nice, but it was still very cold.

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Shae Sellers (3) heads the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against ThunderRidge Grizzlies at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Shae Sellers (3) heads the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game against ThunderRidge Grizzlies at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

The girls continued through the second half unable to net a goal either way.  So, for this game we were going to go into overtime.  In overtime, Ralston Valley had a breakaway down the field.  The ThunderRidge goalie came out to block the shot on goal.  The ball flew up the field a bit, and the RV player who shot the ball made some contact with the goalie, who flopped, and looked for the foul call.  As I said earlier, the official was not calling dives or flops.  While she looked for the call, a trailing Ralston Valley player had the ball drop right in front of her and she launched it into the back of the net for the game winning goal.  RV heads to Ft. Collins to play Saturday, ThunderRidges season is over.

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies sophomore Katie Desch (8) jumps over Ralston Valley Mustang sophomore Sam Bedenger (12) to head the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

May 8th, 2013: ThunderRidge Grizzlies sophomore Katie Desch (8) jumps over Ralston Valley Mustang sophomore Sam Bedenger (12) to head the ball in the CHSAA 5A Soccer Playoff game at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colorado

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit MaxPreps

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