2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Air Academy girls’ soccer squad off to tough start

Published: March 16, 2014, 8:09 pm, by Scott Kaniewski

Surprisingly, Air Academy continued a fairly slow start to the season, losing for the second time in only the third girls’ soccer game of the season.

Sure, it’s way too early to panic – but who saw this coming?

The Kadets made it to the 4A quarterfinals last year – were ousted by a controversial, double-overtime goal by Valor Christian of all things — and returned the majority of their starters this season, including leading goal scorer Brooke Braden (14 goals in 2012-13).

Tough competition and new-look formations, however, have made for an uphill start.

Saturday, Air Academy (1-2) continued adapting to some new formations coach Nancy Sibley has utilized to fit her roster’s personality and failed to make good on a bevy of second-half scoring chances in a 2-0 loss to Douglas County (3-0) in the semifinals of the 26th annual Kadet Kickoff Classic.

After scoring five times in a 5-1 first-round win over The Classical Academy on Friday, the Kadets were stumped on the offensive end on a cold and windy Saturday morning. In the second half, Braden hit the crossbar early before she was denied on another pair of shots, and then her teammates were snubbed three more times before the final whistle.

After the game, Sibley downplayed the team’s 1-2 start to the season.

“It’s early into the year, and we are figuring out some things,” Sibley said. “We have some corrections to make, but we’ll get that.”

Douglas County freshman Kate Leachman, meanwhile, scored twice in the first half to give the Huskies their third consecutive win of the season and second consecutive win over Air Academy at the Kadet Kickoff.

Air Academy’s other loss this season came to the Evergreen Cougars (2-0-1).

Brent W. New, The Gazette

Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps