COMMERCE CITY – Giving up a goal late in the first half could have easily phased the Colorado Springs Christian girl soccer team.

But rather than lose their composure, the Lions decided to go hunting.

They scored three goals in the second half, including the equalizer just over two minutes in, to beat area foe Fountain Valley for the Class 2A title at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

After nearly 40 minutes of scoreless play, Danes freshman Brittyn Lybecker got through the CSCS (14-5 overall) back line and forced keeper Aubrey Salsbery to play up from the net. Lybecker didn’t need power behind her shot, just a little finesse to get the Danes on the board.

But Lions coach Jason Rollins never got concerned.

“We just needed play our game,” he said. “I think the moment got to us a bit and we needed to settle down. We knew 40 minutes was a long time and it’s hard to hold a 1-0 lead.”

Just over two minutes into the second half, Cristina Huerta got the equalizer after working her way into the box and firing a shot out of the reach.

Everyone went back to square one.

And from there, the Lions were the better team for the remaining 38 minutes of play. Ella Salsbery fired a brilliant shot from the right side to make it a 2-1 game and Wilna Colopy added a goal for insurance in the 64th minute.

“We’re all really competitive players and we trust each other’s ability on and off the field,” Ella Salsbery said. “When we got down, it really clicked that we needed to go after this as a team. We worked together and we had to fight for it.”

The key defensively for the Lions was slowing down Lybecker in the second half. She worked her way into a couple more scoring chances, but it was Aubrey Salsbery turning those shots away. The only true scoring chance for Fountain Valley (14-3) came off a corner where it looked like the ball trickled into the net, but the play was called offside.

For the most part, the Lions just stuck to their game plan and put that trust in each other to hold the lead.

“We moved some players around just to play off them what they were trying to play off us,” Rollins said. “We did some adjusting, but not much. We just tried to keep it simple.”

And of course, slow down Lybecker, the standout freshman that established herself as a scoring threat through the course of the game.

“She’s a really talented player,” Ella Salsbery said. “Their entire front line was really talented but we figured out that we needed to target her.”

This was the first state championship game for both Fountain Valley and CSCS and the first girls soccer championship in program history for the Lions.

The team emphasizes their bond as one of a family, but for Rollins this is truly a championship rooted in blood.

“This is my 10th year coaching,” he said. “To have a senior daughter (Liana) and a freshman daughter (Jordyn) to be able to experience with me is pretty special.”

(Dan Mohrmann/