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The Clear Creek girls soccer team's final game of the 2022 regular season was a loss and a win simultaneously.
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On May 3, the Golddiggers lost 0-9 at Dawson, dropping to 4-1 in league play and second in 2A Mile High West standings.
Then, before the team's last regular-season home game on May 5, Vail Christian decided to cancel its appearance at Clear Creek and schedule another school instead. So, on paper, the Golddiggers' final game against the Saints is registered as a win by forfeit.
Despite the weird note the season ended on, the Golddiggers were thrilled to end with an 11-4 record, which is the best in the program's history, according to coach Dan Ebert.
The team's seven seniors have had an unusual high school soccer career. They didn't have a sophomore season, and their junior season was shortened.
Ebert said most seniors would've played 60-65 games by now in their careers, but the senior Golddiggers have played about half that.
Senior Breyda Spinner said she's played even fewer, as she missed about half her freshman season because of injury. So, she and fellow seniors Loralei Murphy and Maxine Inman were incredibly thankful to play a full-length 2022 season.
Despite the two years of setbacks, the three players described how the seniors' bond has become the backbone of the 2022 team.
"We're able to anticipate each other," Murphy said.
Add to that a lot of talented younger players, such as sophomores Trinity Cade, Shea Ryan, Rylie Young and Zoey Zebroski, and it's a recipe for history, the seniors said.
The Golddiggers are preparing to host a first-round playoff game on May 13, which will be confirmed when the 2A state brackets are announced May 8. The seniors were confident that Clear Creek will advance at least one game in the state playoffs.
"We want to go as far as we can," Inman said.
Murphy added: "If we play at 110% and everyone's healthy, I think we could go to the finals."
Inman described how the season has felt long, partly because of how many minutes she's played.
Between the short roster and injuries, Ebert said he's had three substitutes at most this year. Several Golddiggers have played more than 900 and 1,000 minutes so far in 2022. Senior Aiden Kocol, for instance, has played 1,030 minutes.
"Playing all those minutes is hard on you," Inman said, adding that battling injuries has been a challenge for the team all year.
Still, the seniors were proud of everyone's contributions, saying the 11-4 record was a team effort.
Inman also described how her senior year has been a fun time, despite its craziness with injuries, minutes played, and games won and lost.
For Spinner, it's been a "sentimental season," playing with teammates she's had for six years. Now, the playoffs will be the seniors' last chance to play together before going their separate ways after graduation.
"We're making history," Spinner said. " ... I'm glad to it with the girls I've grown up with since sixth grade."
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