Air Academy soccer rallies vs. Lewis-Palmer, returns to state title game

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A Kadets three-peat is alive and well in 4A.

The Air Academy soccer team rallied from a second-half deficit against Lewis Palmer, topping the Rangers 2-1 to return to the CHSAA 4A state title game. The Kadets Mason Shandy controlled a rebound off a free kick with two minutes remaining, tapping it into the net and sending the team to their third straight championship appearance.

Despite dominating most of the game in possession and shots, the Kadets found themselves down 1-0 at halftime. In the 6th minute, the Rangers Tyler Prichard sniped a free kick from 47 yards away. The score would remain that way until halfway through the second half. On a cross into the box, the ball found the foot of Air Academy senior Adien Schwenke who buried it into the left side of the net.

Following the game, Shandy recalled the Kadets intensity the final few minutes of the semifinal match.

"As soon as we scored that second one, I had no doubt we were gonna hold it," Shandy said. "Our team was so fired up, so energetic, we've been training so long for these games, I had no doubt."

The Rangers season ends with a 15-4 record. The Kadets, meanwhile, advance to 15-4 on the season and will await the winner of Golden and Skyview in the other 4A semifinal game. The championship will be played November 16th at 4:00 p.m. from Dick's Sports Goods Park in Commerce City.