Every week, the Colorado Springs Gazette staff will choose the five most intriguing events to keep an eye on. Here’s a glance at this week’s events.
Game of the Week
Girls’ Soccer: Pine Creek (3-0) vs. Cheyenne Mountain (2-0-1)
Where: District 20 Stadium
When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Not only will Class 4A Cheyenne Mountain look to hand 5A Pine Creek its first loss of the season, but the Indians will try to break through an Eagles defense that has not allowed a goal this season. Frankly, so far, Pine Creek is looking like a team that could push further than the second round of playoffs, a place where it was ousted by Cherry Creek 1-0 in 2013. In 2014, keeper Jade Odom has 17 saves for the Eagles, while Ally Watt has five goals through three games (good for fourth in 5A). … Pine Creek, however, will get its toughest test of the season when it faces the Indians, who won the 4A soccer title last spring. Already in 2014, Cheyenne Mountain has beat Liberty (a 5A quarterfinalist from a year ago), tied Fossil Ridge (a 5A semifinalist last year) and beat 5A Doherty, which made the second round of the postseason last year. Junior Hunter Peifer has two shutouts this year, and has made 16 saves on the 17 shots she’s faced. … Cheyenne Mountain beat Pine Creek 3-0 last season.
Girls’ Soccer: St. Mary’s (1-0) vs. Manitou Springs (2-1)
Where: Manitou Springs High School
When: Friday, 6 p.m.
Outlook: After bowing out in the quarterfinals, only time will tell if St. Mary’s and Manitou Springs have enough returning talent to make another run in the 3A postseason bracket. … Coming off 12 goals last season, Mustangs junior Kaity Vogel already has six goals through three games this season. … Seniors Emily Loof and Alex Sjobakken, meanwhile, each scored three goals in the Pirates’ only game of the season – a 10-0 shellacking against Widefield. … St. Mary’s has won five consecutive games over Manitou Springs the past three years, including playoff wins that ousted the Mustangs in 2011 and 2012.
Baseball: Manitou Springs (1-0) vs. Woodland Park(1-3)
Where: Woodland Park High School
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Outlook: Can Manitou Springs do anything in 3A during a rebuilding year? That will be the season-long question for the Mustangs, who lost the core of its team to graduation. (Pitchers KC Quarry and Evan Riter were some of the notable seniors from last season.) … Woodland Park, meanwhile, is trying to build off an 11-9 campaign in 2013, hoping to get continued production from Kayden Osborn’s bat (4 for 9, six RBIs this year) and Dakota Herman’s right arm (2.55 ERA). … Manitou Springs, only a game into the season, beat Vista Ridge 12-9 on opening day. … The Panthers have lost three of their first four games, and have given up nearly nine runs a game.
Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field: Bulldog Invitational
Where: Pueblo’s Dutch Clark Stadium
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.
Outlook: The Bulldog Invitational is one of the bigger invites for southern Colorado schools, and should be a good gauge of talent for some area teams. Liberty, Sierra, St. Mary’s, Palmer, Mesa Ridge, Pine Creek, Woodland Park and Canon City are all expected to attend the meet. Senior Matt Simmons (throws) of Liberty and Zachary Alhamra of Pine Creek (long distance) should compete for top places in their individual events.
Girls’ Basketball: Mesa Ridge state championship assembly
Where: Mesa Ridge High School
When: Tuesday, 11 a.m.
Outlook:If you haven’t heard, Mesa Ridge’s girls’ basketball team pulled off one of the most improbable upsets when they beat Broomfield 45-41 in the state finals. Tuesday, Mesa Ridge will give its student body a chance to celebrate the school’s first state title in girls’ basketball in the school gymnasium. It’ll also be a chance to wish farewell to veteran players Gabby Purnell, Tiffani Jackson, Venessanah Itugbu, Mische Hubbard, Sami Rudd and Haily Beatty, who will all graduate at the end of this school year. In college, Purnell and Jackson will try to play basketball (still undecided where to play), while Rudd has already agreed to row at Kansas State.
Brent W. New, The Gazette
Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps