ARVADA — Three unanswered goals lifted Golden girls soccer to an impressive victory over Arvada West on Monday at the North Area Athletic Complex.

The Demons (2-0 record) fell behind early, but scored a trio of goals over a 20-minute span to take a solid 3-1 victory.

“I’m really proud of the girls. We never gave up,” Golden senior captain Ella Medley said about the Demons being down early. “We talk all the time about not giving up.”

Golden got goals from sophomore Hadley Nauslar, junior Aubrey Pasquale and sophomore Else Vessely to give the Demons two early wins over Class 5A Jeffco League teams. Golden defeated Columbine 3-2 last week in its season-opener.

“We had a goal coming in to win those first two games,” Golden’s first-year coach Issac Clark said. “Then, see where we are at from there.”

A-West senior Brooke Pavlich got the scoring going with a nifty goal in the 9th minute. The senior striker shook through a pair of Golden defenders before rocketing a shot past Golden sophomore goalie Zoe Schroder.

It was Pavlich’s fourth goal of the season. The senior had a hat-trick in the Wildcats’ season-opening 10-1 victory against Brighton last week.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“Hat off to Arvada West and Brooke (Pavlich). That girl is phenomenal,” Clark said. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to see her play the whole second half. Taking nothing away from A-West, but when you take her out of their game it defintely changes things.”

A-West’s first-year coach Dan Watkins said Pavlich suffered a knee injury and didn’t return to the game for precautionary reasons.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Watkins said. “We’ve moved some players around and tried some new things. We were really happy to get that first (goal). She (Pavlich) creates good chances for us.”

Golden knotted up the game 1-1 just before halftime. Nauslar was able to get a foot on the ball during a scrum in front of the Wildcats’ net in the 38th minute.

The Demons grabbed their first lead on a long shot from Pasquale that sailed over A-West senior goalie Hayden Briscoe, who took over the goal-tending duties for the Wildcats (1-1) in the second half.

Golden extended the lead to 3-1 in the 58th minute when a goal off a header from Vessely.

“It’s been amazing. He (Clark) has pushed us and we love it,” Medley said of the Demons’ new coach and impressive start. “You can see it with the team early on that he has really pushed us and how far we’ve come already.”

Golden will actually have a pretty long break before its next game March 28 against Cherokee Trail.

“We’ll reset and make sure everyone is healthy,” Clark said of the Demons not back in action for more than two weeks. “At this point of the season you want to make sure everyone is healthy. I couldn’t be more proud of these girls.”

A familiar face is in a different location this season. Watkins was the longtime Wheat Ridge girls soccer coach before moving over to A-West this school year. Watkins had been at Wheat Ridge since 1998.

“It has been great,” Watkins said of the move to A-West. “The kids have been great. That is the biggest thing, when you have a group of players that are a joy to be around. They work extremely hard and want to get better. The support around the building and community has been great.”

Watkins coached Wheat Ridge girls soccer team to back-to-back 4A state titles in 2009 and 2010, just missing out on a three-peat losing to Valor 1-0 in the championship game in 2011.

A-West also has a very strong and experience coaching staff behind Watkins. Paul Moline is on staff after coaching at Columbine last year. Moline has been coaching soccer in Jeffco for more than 30 years, including most recently guiding D’Evelyn to the 4A state title in 2017.

“I’ve got a great staff and that is what I love about it,” Watkins said. “We’ve got returning coaches from our lower levels. We’ve got some coaching who can just coach and give that extra attention. I’m fortunate to have Paul (Moline) and Eryn (Balding) working with the girls to provide that feedback on a daily basis.”

A-West is scheduled to hit the road to face Horizon at 6 p.m. Wednesday this week before spring break.