ARVADA — Ralston Valley senior Sarah Bevington was the definition of a multi-sport athlete Tuesday, May 9.
Bevington ran in the preliminaries of the Class 5A Jeffco League track and field championships at Jeffco Stadium. The Mustangs’ leading goal scorer on the girls soccer team ran in the 300-meter hurdles around 5:20 p.m. and qualified for the fi-nals scheduled for Saturday, May 13.
Approximately four hours later, Bevington’s goal in the fifth round of penalty kicks at the North Area Athletic Complex pushed No. 4-seeded Ralston Valley past a valiant effort by No. 29 Monarch. The Mustangs won 4-2 in PKs after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.
“Sarah is a gamer. She is 100 percent all heart,” Ralston Valley girls soccer coach Kamee Morwood said after the Mustangs’ celebrated the opening round playoff victory. “Anything you want in an athlete, Sarah got it. She is going to fight to the end.”
It felt like the first-round playoff game might never end. After 80 minutes of regu-lation time and a pair of 15-minute overtime periods neither Ralston Valley (12-4 record) or Monarch (7-9) could find the back of the net.
The Coyotes actually got the upper hand in early in the PK. Ralston Valley sopho-more Maddie DeHerrera hit the left post on the Mustangs’ second shot. Monarch took a 2-1 lead when junior Ashton Hall put in the Coyotes’ second shot.
“It was just a team effort. Everyone worked their butts off. It was all heart,” Bev-ington said. “We stayed confident even after that missed PK.”
Sophomore Maggie Snyder and senior Jenna Giambrocco came through for Ral-ston Valley on the Mustangs’ third and fourth shot. Monarch on the other hand missed back-to-back shot by sophomore Daisy Light and freshman Kate Bethune.
The game was on Bevington’s foot facing Monarch senior goalie Sophia Chen, who was stellar during regulation and overtime.
“You know she is going to come through,” Morwood said of putting Bevington in the key fifth spot in the shootout. “She is so mentally balanced. Everything is so smooth. You know she isn’t going to miss.”
Bevington didn’t miss and was mobbed by teammates after the game-winning goal.
“There are no guarantees in soccer. We knew we had to give it our all,” Bevington said. “Monarch came out super strong. They weren’t ready to go out (be elimi-nated). We had to battle.”
The win was the first playoff win since the Mustangs’ run to the 5A state champi-onship game in 2014.
“The past two years we’ve had that hurdle and gone out the first round,” Bevington said. “We are finally over that hurdle. I think we are ready to go. We are making a run.”
There was a sense of familiarity in the playoff game. Ralston Valley had faced off against Monarch earlier this season at during the Arapahoe Tournament back on March 15. The Mustangs took a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes nearly two months ago.
Next up for Ralston Valley is No. 20 Cherokee Trail, who upset No. 13 Chaparral on Tuesday night. The Mustangs scrimmaged Cherokee Trail before the start of the regular season. Morwood believes it will be a good game when the two face-off Friday, May 12, at the NAAC with a trip to the state quarterfinals on the line.
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a fo-cus athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com/Jeffco