In the first half of the first game of the regular season, Ally Huff stood in goal. It was a position the Clear Creek junior had played a few years prior in club soccer. It was a position that with a few years under her belt and training the right way who knows maybe this would be the spot for her.
But that’s not for Ally Huff.
“At first, we just wanted to try it again and how it would go,” Huff said. “But my strong point is on the field. (Coach Ben) Potter and I talked about it and we went from there.”
Boy did they ever.
Clear Creek’s leading scorer the past two seasons took her game to another level in 2012. Huff scored in 11 of the Lady Golddiggers’ 14 games and nine times scored multiple goals. The end result was 28 goals and 10 assists for a Clear Creek team that went 9-5 during the regular season, including 8-2 in the 3A Frontier League.
That has the Lady Golddiggers, who’ve won three in a row and six of seven to close the regular season, making their first 3A state tournament appearance. Clear Creek, seeded 28th, will play fifth-seeded Frontier Academy (13-1-1) on May 9 at University of Northern Colorado’s Jackson Field in Greeley.
“It means a lot. It’s definitely a big deal for all of us. We’re excited to have made it this far,” Huff said.
And Huff’s a major reason why.
She’s a go-getter, a playmaker, someone who is best when she’s running the show.
“She’s a phenomenal center midfielder making plays. That’s the playmaker on the field. That sums up Ally on the field,” Potter said. “She is a playmaker on the team. A majority of our offensive attack goes through her.”
And opposing teams knew that. Yet, they still struggled to contain Clear Creek’s top offensive threat. Huff scored five goals in a win over Nederland in March and four in victories over Jefferson and Sheridan.
“Oh yeah, in multiple games I would hear coaches before the game say ‘make sure to watch No. 12’ and stuff like that,” Huff said. “Against Pinnacle and a couple of other teams they would have a girl on me the entire game.”
The addition of a couple of new players this season and the steady incline of the team’s play had Clear Creek believing it would make the postseason for the first time. But chances are if Potter hadn’t made the switch the Lady Golddiggers would’ve been a more defensive-minded team and probably would’ve struggled offensively.
Thankfully for Clear Creek that didn’t happen. And by having returning starting goalkeeper Kelsey Valdez back allowed Clear Creek to play much more aggressive and opened the door for an offense, led by Huff, to score much more frequently.
“Kelsey is not your orthodox goalkeeper by any stretch of the imagination. Her raw athleticism is incredible back there,” Potter said. “Her background as a gymnast is obvious when she’s in goal.”
But nothing was more obvious in 2012 than the improved play of Huff in the midfield.