Ralston Valley has clean sheet in win versus Golden

Dennis Pleuss Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/30/23

Ralston Valley’s boys soccer team is ahead of schedule this season.

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Ralston Valley has clean sheet in win versus Golden


Ralston Valley’s boys soccer team is ahead of schedule.

The Mustangs (3-0-1 record) remained undefeated on the season Tuesday night with a 2-0 shutout victory over rival Golden at the North Area Athletic Complex. Ralston Valley had a bit of a rough beginning last season with a 1-3 start before winning 11 of 13 to finish its 2022 campaign in the Class 5A state semifinals.

“It was a big point coming into this season,” Ralston Valley junior Cooper Hineline said of getting off to a good start. “We knew what happened last year and we were going to try to fix it. We are doing a great job so far.”

Ralston Valley had a historic playoff run last Fall. The Mustangs had their deepest boys soccer postseason run in the school’s 20-plus year history. Ralston Valley advanced to the 5A state semifinals that included the Mustangs knocking off top-seed Legacy in the state quarterfinals.

The run ended in a shootout loss to Fairview in the semifinals.

“It’s a great squad,” Ralston Valley senior goalie Evan Bierman said of this season’s team. “We’ve got returning players and some new players that didn’t play last year like Keegan Ulvedal. There is something special about this year.”

Much of the key pieces from last year’s squad did return, but there was a big change with last year’s head coach Jamie Scarcliff gone. Scarcliff moved over to take over Golden’s boys soccer program.

“There was a lot of emotions because I care about those (Ralston Valley) kids, but this is my new group, my new family,” Scarcliff said of her Demons (2-2). “I’m excited for what I saw out of my crew. I think they will have a lot of success.”

The Mustangs had the success Tuesday night with the shutout victory against their former coach. Ralston Valley junior Hunter Byrne provided the lone goal of the opening half. Byrne rocketed a shot in transition past Golden junior goalie Garett Kula in the 13th minute. Byrne had ripped a shot off the post earlier in the game.

Hineline gave Ralston Valley an insurance goal in the 69th minute with a brilliant move atop the Demons’ goalie box before firing a shot past Kula for a 2-0 lead.

“I was just cutting inside and trying to put it on frame,” Hineline said of his team-leading third goal of the season.

The junior forward admitted the energy was ramped up face Golden, who actually handed Ralston Valley one of those early-season losses a year ago.

“It was a combination of playing against some of my friends and it’s a rivalry,” Hineline said. “No matter if Scarcliff was on the other sideline, I wanted to win. It gave us a little more extra motivation.”

John Doody is now at the helm coaching the Mustangs was proud of the way his team handled the game that did get a little chippy in the final 10 minutes.

“When coach Will Lind and I came into the program our goal was to create a level of professionalism and play real proper futbol,” Doody said. “To overcome these kind of emotional situations. I think that last 10 minutes I was a little worried because I thought the entire match might be that way, but the fact is was a very well-played match.”

Ralston Valley faces a pair of 5A teams who were both ranked in the top-10 in the CHSAANow.com boys soccer preseason poll in the next few days.

“We need to keep the momentum going,” Bierman said of the strong start. “This is new territory for us.”

The Mustangs are on the road against Heritage on Thursday, Aug. 31, before facing defending 5A state champion Denver East next week on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“I think we have tons of potential,” Doody said. “We are building toward something special. We still have to put in the work and keep growing.”

Golden’s next opponent is also tough. The Demons host perennial 4A powerhouse Air Academy on Friday, Sept. 1, back at the NAAC. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

Golden graduated 22 seniors last year team that finished second in the 4A Jeffco League, but lost in the opening round of the 4A state tournament.

“I think they have come in and made strides,” Scarcliff said of the Demons having little varsity experience and with a new coaching staff. “We have had four tough games. Every game we keep on getting better and better.”

The Demons already have wins over Silver Creek and Columbine.

Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.

ralston valley, golden, high school soccer, soccer, prep sports, prep soccer, colorado sports, colorado prep sports, dennis pleuss, jeffco public schools, boys soccer,


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