BRIGHTON — Prairie View girls soccer coach Jason Oulman has an idea what sort of team he has this year. His task over the next week or so is to make sure that team shows up for the state playoffs.
The state draw is due out May 4 (coverage at www.thebrightonblade.com and at twitter.com/sportsland), and the first-round match is set for May 6. PVHS was in third place in the Eastern Metro Athletic Conference standings entering the last week of the regular season. The top four teams qualify.
Rangeview tripped up Prairie View 4-2 April 24 in Brighton. Even so, Oulman was very happy with what he saw.
“The team we had tonight is the team we normally have,” Oulman said. “We had a couple of rough calls by the refs, especially the one where they got their third goal. I was proud of them for putting up with so much adversity and to score the way they did. They worked for 70 minutes, and they should have gotten goals in those first 70 minutes. But they got them at the end. This team is more mature and fights harder than they ever have. If we can hang with Rangeview, we can hang with any team. We don’t have to play a team that is traditionally better than us and play in a defensive shell and never get an offensive chance. We can go for it.”
Vanessa Madera scored twice for Rangeview in the first half. Madison Garst scored twice in the second half. Allison Maestas and Veronica Walker scored for PVHS in the last 10 minutes. The two PVHS goals were the first Rangeview surrendered during the conference season. It also marked the first time in Prairie Views history that the ThunderHawks scored against the Raiders.
“Rangeview will win the conference again. Last year, we were undefeated, and we lost 8-0. We just weren’t ready for that kind of game. This year, the score isn’t as indicative of how close the game was,” Oulman said. “This helps a lot for state. After the Brighton loss, we had our worst game of the season against Castle View. They looked dead. They were about to give up. We beat Pomona, and things clicked better.”
Prairie View had some great scoring chances in the first half against Rangeview. One shot hit the post, and one required a key save from Rangeview’s freshman goalkeeper Belle Helgerson.
“This is a far better loss than the Brighton loss,” Oulman said. “You had to wonder if they were going to roll over and die. This loss, you could see they had that spark. If they get a ball bouncing their way, they know things will change. It’s a good loss to build off of.”
Oulman doesn’t expect a particularly high seed when the draw is released over the weekend.
“We’ll work our hardest to see what we can do,” Oulman said. “We’re getting there. We were in a tailspin. We were practicing slow and sluggish. After Castle View, I gave the captains more power. They have been doing a great job of leading our team. It’s been nice to have that leadership. I’m excited to see what we can do. They are a fun team. Even when they lose, they make you smile.”
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