Fossil battles from behind in back-to-back playoff wins


Senior Frankie Lowery celebrating Fossil’s win against Rocky Mountain.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

Sabercat soccer qualified for the 5A quarterfinals after a 3-2 victory over  the Rock Canyon Jaguars and a 2-1 win against  the Rocky Mountain Lobos.

Fossil started the game against Rock Canyon slow, giving up a goal within the first five minutes of the contest. This start was very similar to their playoff matchup against the Jaguars last year, falling behind 1-0. 

The Sabercats bounced back, scoring a goal on a header from senior midfielder Frankie Lowery. This was only Lowery’s second tally of the season, with the first coming nine games before. 

The Sabercats headed into the half tied, which provided a huge wave of momentum heading into the last 40 minutes. This momentum was made immediately clear, with a pair of massive goals from senior Dylan Whisenant and Manuel Scelfo. 

Rock Canyon scored a final goal late in the second half, but Fossil held strong to emerge victorious 3-2, securing their first home playoff win in three years.

Things stayed almost identical in their rematch against Rocky Mountain, as the Sabercats gave up an early goal, falling behind for the fourth consecutive game.

Fossil didn’t panic, as they were quite comfortable with playing from behind. 

“It’s a funny thing, they score that goal even though we prepped for it…it was a momentary flaw…it’s something that you don’t want to happen but at the same time it lights that fire…we have sixty minutes to put the ball in the net, let’s just get it done,” said Fossil head coach Steve Weiss.

Once again the Sabercats scored the equalizer before half, coming from Scelfo, who added his second goal of the postseason and his fourth of the last seven games.

Fossil continued to apply pressure, leading to a penalty kick goal scored by senior Sterling Bellendir. Bellendir is no stranger to big time goals, as his tally in last year’s second round lifted the team over Boulder.  

The Sabercats were able to stay tough, playing strong defense and advancing to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.

This marked the Fossil’s fifth come from behind playoff victory in the past two seasons, as the team continues to fight through all odds.

“It’s never over until it’s over…We’re gonna battle from the first [whistle] to the end,” Bellendir said.

The Sabercats will have to battle again this Saturday as they take on the undefeated No. 3 Valor Christian Eagles at Randy Penn Stadium at Englewood High School. 

Despite heading in the clear underdogs, this David has plenty of experience tackling Goliaths.