Arapahoe High School boys soccer coach Mark Hampshire is well aware how the games and preparation change once the regular season ends and the state playoffs begin. Playoff games have more emotion and …
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Arapahoe High School boys soccer coach Mark Hampshire is well aware how the games and preparation change once the regular season ends and the state playoffs begin.
Playoff games have more emotion and intensity and the Class 5A first-round state playoffs games were held Oct. 27.
“Playoffs are remarkably different,” said Hampshire. “The first 15 games of the season you want to give yourself an opportunity to get into the playoffs. You start figuring out players, what players can do, what systems can do, but the playoffs start and mentally everything shifts because you know you are one and done. If you don't win, you don't get another chance. The emotions are higher.
“This is year 30 for me,” Hampshire continued. “There are things through the later part of the regular season we hope we can do when we get into the playoffs. We back off a lot in the amount of time we train, we target specific things we need to work on in our training. At this point, the kids own it. We can do a little bit of the chess game and that kind of thing as coaches. We want the kids to have fun and experience this and own whatever happens.”
Arapahoe, of Centennial, owned Parker-area school Chaparral in its first-round match, scoring early and often in a 7-0 victory at Littleton Public Schools Stadium.
The Warriors scored in the first 14 minutes of the contest and tallied three goals in an eight-minute span to take a 5-0 halftime lead.
“Chaparral is a good team,” said Hampshire. “Because we jumped on them so early, all of a sudden it was hard for them. Their boys battled and they continued to battle.
“Down the stretch of the season they did some great stuff against Mountain Vista (5-1 win) and against Regis (3-2 win) so we just played extremely well. We needed to because the last three games we did not play well. This was good for us. It was a really good game for us offensively. Once you score goals it relieves a little pressure off our defense.”
Senior Caleb Ballard led the way for Arapahoe with two goals and two assists for six points to give him 35 points for the season.
Will Grauberger had two goals while Ramzi Maalout, Blake D'Agostino, Clark Roe and Marshall Gueller each scored once.
Goalie Alex Bissett had to make just two saves as he notched his ninth shutout of the year.
At press time, Arapahoe was slated to face Colorado Springs' Rampart in the second round on Nov. 2.
In other first-round games involving south metro teams, second-seeded Valor Christian's Zac Brooks got the goal in a 1-0 win by the Highlands Ranch school against Doherty, of Colorado Springs. Rock Cayon's Owen Barnett had a goal and three points in the Highlands Ranch school's victory over Poudre, of Fort Collins. Matt Relijanovic and Bailey Voit scored for Castle View, of Castle Rock, in a 2-0 triumph over Chatfield, of Jefferson County.
Mountain Vista, of Highlands Ranch, used goals by Kyle Atkinson, Tristan Larsen and Diego Ramirez to down Aurora Central, 3-1. Cherry Creek, of Greenwood Village, lost a shootout 4-1 against Fossil Ridge, of Fort Collins, after the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Luke Williams scored in the second overtime period to lift Grandview, of Aurora, to a 2-1 win over Regis Jesuit, also of Aurora.
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