LAKEWOOD — To put it simply, everyone in Class 5A boys soccer is chasing Ralston Valley.

The Mustangs — No. 1 in the 5A boys soccer CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index — pushed their winning streak to nine games with a 5-0 win against Lakewood on Tuesday night at Lakewood Memorial Field.

“Being ranked No. 1 in Colorado and No. 1 in our (5A Jeffco) league is huge,” Ralston Valley senior Keegan Ulvedal said. “We just have to keep the train rolling, keep doing our thing and I think we’ll have success in the future.”

The only blemish for Ralston Valley (11-0-1, 4-0 in 5A Jeffco) is a 1-1 tie against Broomfield on Aug. 25. The Mustangs were the first 5A team in the state to hit double-digit victories this season while outscoring their opponents 41-7.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“It just keeps on building and building,” Ralston Valley senior captain Ryan Mann said after the Mustangs’ seventh shutout victory of the season. “That is why the quality of play is so much better.”

Ralston Valley became the 5A playoff darlings last season advancing all the way to the 5A semifinals as the No. 8 seed after knocking off No. 1 seed Legacy in the state quarterfinals.

The Mustangs have started just where they left off and are three wins away from sweeping 5A Jeffco League play and winning the conference title. It would be the first league title for Ralston Valley since 2017 when it was shared with Arvada West.

“Right now we are focused on league,” Mann said. “Every game is a fight. Every game is a chance to get better.”

Ralston Valley scored three first-half goals against Lakewood (5-5-2, 2-1-1). The Mustangs scored got an own goal in the 6th minute with a cross by senior Owen Hennis deflected off a Lakewood defender and into the net.

Ulvedal and fellow senior Liam Rooney found the back of the net a minute apart to push the lead to 3-0 at the 24-minute mark.

“Kudos to Tom (Lakewood coach Tom Noor) and his squad. They didn’t make it easy for us,” Ralston Valley’s first-year coach John Doody said. “We had to work hard. The first 20 minutes we had to work hard to connect passes. We got a couple of goals to get it going.”

Ralston Valley kept it going with goals from seniors Landon Orchard (70th minute) and Cooper Hineline (71st minute) to close out the win.

“The question is… Can we keep improving? Can we get to the next level? I think we are good enough,” Doody said. “That is going to be on the boys.”

The Mustangs have three conference games — Bear Creek, Valor and Columbine —  remaining. The 5A 32-team state tournament will begin Oct. 25.

“We are absolutely taking it one game at a time. We aren’t looking past anybody,” Doody said as the regular season wraps up in the next week and a half. “I think these league games are all much more physical and intense. We kind of have a bull’s-eye on our back.”

If the Mustangs are able to take care of their final three regular-season games they will likely be the top-seed for the state tournament and be the favorite to capture the program’s first boys soccer state title.

In fact, it’s been 20 years since a Jeffco League team won the 5A state title in boys soccer. Columbine captured the biggest school classification back in 2003.

“As much as I love being the underdog and that feeling from last year, the confidence of being ranking this highly and the quality of our players is through the roof this year,” Mann said. “We know what we can do. If we play our best there isn’t much other teams can do.”