Valor loses to Windsor in state soccer finale

Eagles coach praises team for strong performance against top-seeded Wizards


There is a pretty convincing reason why Alexandria Daws was one of the captains on the Valor Christian girls soccer team.

First of all, Daws is one of only four seniors on the 22-player Eagles varsity squad and more significant is the fact she sacrificed for the team.

Daws is a goalkeeper who divided time this season as a midfielder and wound up tied for the team lead in goals scored.

In the May 23 Class 4A state championship game against Windsor at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Daws was the keeper in the first half and moved into the field for the final 40 minutes to score the Eagles' only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Wizards.

It was the fourth loss for Valor in a 4A state championship game in the past 10 seasons. The Eagles won the championship in 2011.

Top-seeded Windsor finished the season unbeaten with a 19-0-1 record while second-seeded Valor wound up with a 12-4-3 mark.

“It's never easy to get to the championship game and it's never easy to win,” explained Valor coach Brian Schultz. “I've never been more proud of a second-place trophy. These girls were unbelievable this year.

“To get to the championship this year is hard to put into words. We graduated nine girls and lost six others but the girls just rallied. I wish we had played better against Windsor but credit goes to Windsor. They put on an incredible performance on the biggest stage.”

Schultz also used “incredible” to describe what Daws meant to the team. She logged 640 minutes as a keeper, made 46 saves and had a 1.250 goals against average. And she tied for the team lead with senior captain Nicole Wright. Each scored eight goals.

“Alex is incredibly selfless,” Schultz said.”We knew she had great determination this year. We had great goalies on the team, more than just her. She gave up goaltending because she knew we needed help scoring goals and you saw the kind of goals she can score in the second half.

“She's been doing that all year for us. She was our starring goalkeeper. She and Kenzie (MacKenzie Egan) split time last year and we planned to do that against this year, but Alex started scoring goals for us so we put her up top.”

Windsor kept pressure on Valor the entire game with good movement around the Eagles' goal. The Wizards, led by three goals from University of Colorado-bound Chaynee Kingsbury, had 17 shots on goal compared to seven for the Eagles.

Daws made eight saves in the first half but allowed two goals. She played as a midfielder in the second half and showed her valuable versatility when she scored Valor's only goal in the 63rd minute, when she sent the ball into the high corner of the net from just outside of the penalty area on the left of the Windsor keeper.

“They played the ball really well and number 9 (Kingsbury) was incredible,” admitted Daws. “It is extremely difficult to go from saving the ball and having a goalie mentality to having to go score. You can see everything from the goal and you can kind of see what is open and what is not and what is working. I definitely like being a goalie better, but it's fun going up and scoring goals.”

Another loss in the title game for the Eagles, who have been in five state championship games in 10 years, was tough for Daws to handle.

“I was the keeper for the state game two years ago and I really wanted it this year, but …,” she said.


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