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Demons soccer reaches the state semis

DHS beats Montrose and Steamboat at home
Durango players swarm Emery Miller, center, after she scored to give Durango a 1-0 lead against Steamboat Springs in the Class 4A quarterfinals Tuesday at DHS. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

The Durango High School girls soccer team is headed to the Class 4A state semifinals. The Demons scored some beautiful goals to beat Montrose on Saturday, 6-0. DHS then turned around and played Steamboat Springs in a highly contested match Tuesday and scored a 4-1 in the quarterfinals at DHS.

DHS head coach Melissa Halonen said she didn’t think DHS has ever made the semifinals in girls soccer before.

Riley Campbell challenges Steamboat Springs' goalie on Tuesday in the Class 4A quarterfinals at DHS. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

“We have so many athletes who aren’t afraid to push themselves to the limits, and the cohesiveness of the whole squad has really come together,” Halonen said.

Every ball was challenged in Tuesday’s game against Steamboat, but DHS struck first just over six minutes into the game.

Mason Rowland got the ball near midfield and drove deep into Steamboat territory, juking a couple Sailors along the way. Rowland then passed to an open Emery Miller in front of the net, and Miller capitalized with a goal.

DHS goalie Jocelyn Feir made a diving save 10 minutes later.

The Demons continued to attack and forced Steamboat’s goalie to make plays on several corner kicks.

Mason Rowland of Durango High School shields off a Steamboat Springs player while passing the ball to a teammate Tuesday during the Class 4A quarterfinals (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

In the second half, Carter Neiman ran back to break up a Steamboat run.

Sophie Ragsdale then fired a corner kick into the box. It was blocked, but Ragsdale came up with the rebound and drew a foul. On the ensuing free kick, Adde Neiman placed the ball in the box, and after Steamboat didn’t clear right away, Makayla Wayman came up with the ball and scored to give DHS a 2-0 lead with just under 10 minutes to go.

Miller then assisted Sarah Somrak for a 3-0 lead with 5:59 remaining.

Sarah Somrak of Durango High School controls the ball while playing Steamboat Springs in the Class 4A quarterfinals Tuesday at DHS. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

Steamboat got on the board after an unlucky bounce went off a DHS defender’s knee and hit her hand. Gwyn Jamison scored on ensuing the penalty kick. The Demons, however, answered back. Bella Saren passed to Wayman, who juked one defender to get a clear shot and then finished with a goal in the final two minutes.

“They worked hard,” Halonen said after the win. “Obviously this is one of the best teams we’ve played, and they put pressure on us, but our back line stayed composed and Jocelyn came up big when we needed.”

DHS will now play the winner of No. 2 Evergreen and No. 7 Northfield in the semifinals Thursday at the University of Northern Colorado. No. 1 Windsor and No 4 Palmer Ridge will play in the other semi.