Boys soccer: Legacy, Jefferson Academy head to semifinals

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Out of the 14 area teams that punched their tickets into the state soccer postseason, a pair of programs looking for their first state title remain in Legacy and Jefferson Academy.

Two more wins will get it done from here.

Semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday night with Legacy in Class 5A at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium and JA in 3A at Frederick High School.

Finals are set for Friday night and Saturday morning at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs.

The 3A championship game starts 5:15 p.m. on the first day and 5A goes 11:45 a.m. the second.

Class 5A state semifinalsNo. 7 Legacy vs. No. 11 GrandviewDetails: Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., at DU Soccer StadiumPay attention to: Cooper Stephens. Be aware when he has the ball, is about to get the ball, could possibly get the ball, and especially when the game teeters on a cliff of winning and losing, rocking unsteadily in the balance. He’s proven the ultimate scale-tipper. Through three rounds, it’s hard to imagine a greater performance than the one the junior has put together this postseason. Proving an aficionado of the back of the net, in the clutch, Stephens has scored the game-winning goal in each round for the Lightning, who sandwiched 1-0 wins against Ralston Valley and Denver East around a 3-2 double-overtime classic against Broomfield. Against the Eagles, he squeezed a tight chance past the keeper with a little more than a minute before a shootout before he was mobbed by adoring fans.Factoid: Stephens has scored in 14 of 18 games and has 23 goals on the year. Coach Tony Romano and the Lightning, meanwhile, are a game away from their first soccer finals appearance in school history.

3A state semifinalsNo. 1 Jefferson Academy vs. No. 4 Liberty CommonDetails: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at Frederick HighPay attention to: Jefferson Academy’s resilience. Because even though it hasn’t needed to show itself much in the fall, it’s still there. Pulled out of the soccer attic, a team that has mostly ran away with victories through an undefeated campaign had its character thrust into the light following a rare halftime deficit against Fort Lupton in the second round. Down 1, it went on to storm back for a 4-2 victory, and followed it up with a shutout win over Vail Mountain in the quarterfinals. In Liberty Common, they will face a team that lost three nonconference games to open the season and then went on to piece together their current 14-game win streak.Factoid: JA’s comeback win in Round 2 was just the second time this season it trailed at half. The other came against Peak to Peak in an eventual 4-1 win on Oct. 14.