The Manitou Springs girls soccer program has been around for just over 20 years. On Tuesday, May 23, the Mustangs will do something that no team before it has ever done: they’ll take the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and compete for a state title.

Manitou edged Kent Denver 2-1 in the first of the Class 3A semifinals at the University of Northern Colorado.

Kara Donegan got the No. 3 Mustangs (19-0 overall) on the board off a corner kick less than 10 minutes into the game. The No. 7 Sun Devils tied the game shortly after when Avni Shah took direct aim at the Manitou net on a free kick, getting the ball just over the outstretched arms of keeper Nici Sharon.

The tie game wouldn’t last long as Cassidy Kuzbek headed in a Sami Benge-Kulzer corner kick to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead that they would ride the rest of the way.

The Mustangs head into the state title game with Madrid Mack, the state’s overall points leader regardless of classification. She has 81 points to her name this season and has also scored 31 goals for her team.


(1) Jefferson Academy 3, (5) Colorado Academy 1

Gianna Gagliano needed less than a minute to get the Jefferson Academy on the board and the Jags never looked back. They beat Colorado Academy, the same program that they lost to in the 2015 and 2019 3A state title games.

This is the second 3A title game in a row for the Jags, who lost to Kent Denver 3-0 last year. They won their first and only state title back in 2018.

While the Mustangs have Mack who leads the state in points, Gagliano is actually the player sitting right behind her with 77. It’s looking like the 3A title game between Manitou Springs and Jefferson Academy will be a slugfest.

That game kicks off at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday May 23 at 5 p.m.