Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Niwot outlasts Northridge to capture Northern League title

 

Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot’s Ella Miller heads the ball against Mountain View.

Ahead of last Thursday’s match against the league-leading Northridge Grizzlies, Niwot midfielder Charlotte McCarthy knew that the stakes were high for the Cougars. With a victory over the Grizzlies, Niwot would be in a position to win the Northern League outright for the first time in nearly a decade, automatically earning a berth to the Class 4A playoffs. A loss to the Grizzlies, on the other hand, would muddy the playoff picture considerably.

“We’re extremely excited about Northridge,” said the senior. “We know it’s a must-win game, so we’re going to put in the work.”

Clearly, that effort paid off. Led by senior forward Kailee Stobbe, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead into halftime, and then held on for a 2-1 win over the Grizzlies. Stobbe finished the game with a goal, bringing her season total to 12, the third highest in the Northern League. Junior forward Anna McCarthy booted the game winner in the second half, and also had an assist. Senior Maddie Barkow, meanwhile, picked up her ninth assist of the year, good for second in the league.

With the victory over Northridge, Niwot upped its season record to 11-3 with a conference mark of 6-1. Beating the Grizzlies ensured them only a share of the Northern League title, however. It was only after Thompson Valley’s upset of Centaurus, the Northern League’s other one-loss team, that Niwot clinched sole possession of the league crown.

We didn’t really know what was going to happen with Thompson Valley and Centaurus until a couple of hours after,” explained Dimit of his team’s reaction to the victory. “But the girls are very, very excited.”

“That was a hard win,” he continued. “We had to work really hard for it.”

The win capped off an emotional week for the Cougars. Celebrating Senior Night at the final home league game of the year two days earlier, the team sent their six soon-to-be graduates off with a bang. For the second time in less than a week, the Niwot offense exploded for 10 goals, as the Cougars cruised to a lopsided win over the inexperienced Mountain View Mountain Lions.

Again, eight Cougars scored, including Stobbe and Anna McCarthy, with two goals and one assist apiece. Barkow had two assists, while seniors Lauren Wolf and Charlotte McCarthy, juniors Sage Marten and Mary Stischer, sophomore Ava Dumler and freshman Lauren Cranny also found the back of the net. For McCarthy, who had a goal and two assists in the blowout, the Cougars are a team on a mission.

“Our team chemistry and mental toughness are really coming together,” she said. “We’re getting toward the end of the season, we’re on a winning streak, and I think we’ve realized we really want to go far in the playoffs this year.”

Though Dimit’s thoughts have turned to the post-season, his more immediate focus will be on the Cougars’ final regular season game against Littleton (5-8, 1-5), which was rescheduled from April 28 to May 4 due to snow. According to Dimit, Littleton, which competes in the powerhouse Jeffco League, is another team that’s much better than its record indicates.

“I think Littleton will be one of the better teams we play this season,” he said of the Lions, who are ranked 28th in the RPI, despite just one conference win. “They have some quality wins against good teams.

It’s good to have them right before the playoffs,” he continued. “They should be a really well organized team. They’ll give us a good opportunity to prepare.”

4/24 — Niwot 10, Mountain View 0

Mountain Lions (1-12, 0-6) 0 0 — 00

Cougars (10-3, 5-1) 5 5 — 10

Goals — Anna McCarthy (2), Kailee Stobbe (2), Lauren Cranny, Ava Dumler, Sage Marten, Charlotte McCarthy, Mary Stischer, Lauren Wolf

Assists — Maddie Barkow (2), Aria Carlston, Allie Colvin, Sierra Kepler

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Allie Colvin (80-0-2)

4/27 — Niwot 2, Northridge 1

Cougars (11-3, 6-1) 1 1 — 2

Grizzles (10-4, 5-2) 0 1 — 1

Goals — Anna McCarthy, Kailee Stobbe

Assists —Maddie Barkow, Anna McCarthy

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Allie Colvin (80-1-6)

 

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