The high school soccer postseason, maybe unlike any of the other fall sports, will be measured in the moments that some in attendance never even get to witness.

A rocket goal from atop the box — that’s less than a second and easy to miss. A leaping save — that’d been cool to see if someone hadn’t walked in front on their way to the bathroom.

For Ralston Valley keeper Evan Bierman, his golden postseason moment was hard to make out because it happened so quickly and chaotically Saturday. Nonetheless, brilliant.

The junior keeper kept No. 1 Legacy frustrated and off the board for 78 minutes and 46 seconds in the 5A quarterfinals at Englewood High School. All of it was put in jeopardy when the Lightning were awarded a late penalty kick.

Tate Hansen took the try, strong and to the left, but Bierman guessed correctly and made the save. The ball then kicked back to Hansen for the rebound and Bierman managed to get to his feet and slid over to stop Hansen’s second attempt.

“Their goalie on penalty kick, there was the PK save, then there was the rebound save and I couldn’t tell if it was the goalie who made the rebound save or a player,” Legacy coach Tony Romano said. “Either way it was an outstanding defensive effort.”

It was Bierman alright, all in the matter of a second, and the eighth-ranked Mustangs held on for the 1-0 victory.
“Evan Bierman is a hero,” junior Captain Cole Creasey announced to Jefferson County Sports Information reporter Dennis Pleuss after the game.

In this week’s look at the sport, we look at the upcoming semifinals matchups for the 5A-3A classification, the finals matchup in 2A, and the heroes who got their teams there.

Class 5A (semifinals at Englewood High School Wednesday)

No. 8 Ralston vs. No. 12 Fairview, 8 p.m.

Bierman has posted a shutout in three of his last four games for Ralston Valley (13-5). In the other one, the state second round, he gave up three goals in the opening half to No. 24 Liberty before the Mustangs rallied for five unanswered goals in the second half.

Hugo Harezlak scored his second straight postseason winner for the Knights (12-5-1) Saturday, beating No. 4 Broomfield in overtime. The round before, keeper Shane Williams was brilliant and Harezlak had the winner in the 78th minute against crosstown rival No. 5 Boulder.

No. 2 Denver East vs. No. 3 Valor Christian, 5:30 p.m.

Zac Brooks has five goals this postseason for Valor Christian (17-0-1), which has yet to lose this season (strangely, it’s one draw came to ThunderRidge, which did not make the postseason). He and Zach Winkelman scored in the second half to down last year’s runner-up No. 11 Fossil Ridge in the quarterfinals.

Denver East (16-1-1) got a goal six minutes into its quarterfinal against No. 7 Cherokee Trail and ran away with a 5-0 victory. Over the last 2 ½ weeks, the Angels have victories over 5A defending champ Grandview, 4A reigning champ Northfield and have shutouts against their last two postseason opponents.

Class 4A (semifinals at the University of Northern Colorado Wednesday)

No. 16 Battle Mountain vs. No. 20 Mullen, 8 p.m.

Leo Martinez scored the lone goal for Battle Mountain (12-4-2) in its quarterfinal win over No. 9 Air Academy. He also scored in Round 2 as the Huskies beat No. 32 Coronado.

Mullen (13-3-2) clobbered No. 28 Pueblo Centennial 5-1 in the quarterfinals. To get there, the Mustangs needed a shootout win over No. 4 Centaurus, where keeper Mitch Ringman made a save in PKs and Alex Sedita scored the clincher.

No. 2 Northfield vs. No. 14 Summit, 5:30 p.m.

The defending champ Nighthawks (15-1-1) needed a shootout to get past No. 15 Skyline before beating No. 7 Niwot 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Against the Longs Peak League champ Cougars, Rowan Galvan and Zach Liptzin each had goals and Zander Kosmas made five saves for the shutout.

Fabian Cuevas scored twice in the quarterfinals as the Tigers (13-3-2) beat No. 22 Northridge 3-2 in overtime. The senior also had the overtime winner against No. 19 Mead in the opening round.

Class 3A (semifinals at Jefferson County Trailblazer Stadium Wednesday)

No. 3 Coal Ridge vs. No. 7 Peak to Peak, 8 p.m.

The Titans (15-1-2) have won seven straight, including a 4-3 overtime win over No. 22 Middle Park in the quarterfinals. Trailing the Panthers 3-2 with 9:24 left in regulation, Alexis Serna got the equalizer and Derrick Centeno later scored the OT winner.

Jorden Gyaltsen scored in overtime as Peak to Peak (14-3-1) knocked out last fall’s runner up, No. 2 Jefferson Academy. It was the junior’s second goal this postseason.

No. 1 Colorado Academy vs. No. 4 Liberty Common, 5:30 p.m.

Nic Jeffries scored the lone goal for the Mustangs (14-1-3) in their quarterfinals win over No. 8 Frontier Academy. The junior has three goals and an assist in these playoffs. The No. 1 team has won 10 in a row.
Liberty Common (15-2-1) ousted last year’s champ No. 5 Roaring Fork 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Brady Poore scored twice in the win.

The teams played to a 1-1 draw in their meeting on Sept. 14.

Class 2A (finals at Weidner Field Saturday)

No. 1 Vail Mountain vs. No. 6 Lotus School for Excellence, 9 a.m.

The Gore Rangers (13-4-1) got five goals from five different players in the semifinals as they sent home Crested Butte, the champs of 2A three times in the classification’s four years of existence. Rutley Heinemann has two goals and two helpers in the postseason.

The Meteors (14-4) are back in the finals for a second straight season. Freddy Peraza is second in the state in goals with 38 this fall. He has four goals and a helper in the playoffs.
Vail Mountain beat the Lotus School for Excellence 4-0 on Sept. 2.