How good are the teams atop the Class 6A West Regional rankings?
Derby, who is currently 8-1-1, sits at No. 3 among the 18 teams. One loss, however, could drop it as many as four spots based on the current standings.
It’s the message that coach Paul Burke and his staff will implement after games against Kapaun Mt. Carmel and Campus. They also understand the team is in position to claim home-field advantage through the playoffs with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Derby scored four goals in the final 17 minutes to knock off perennial Class 5A power Kapaun Mt. Carmel, but was unable to break a 1-1 tie against Campus. Senior Saul Munoz scored in both games, while sophomore forward Andy Denesongkham kicked off the late scoring spree against the Crusaders.
The Panthers outshot the Colts 20-2, but could only muster one goal against its AVCTL-I and classification foe.
“If you’re a Final Four team from the year before, everyone wants to knock you off,” Burke said. “That’s especially true when you’re [now] sitting there at 8-1-1.”
The tie was enough to knock Derby out of the top spot of the AVCTL-I standings as Campus moves ahead at 2-0-1 in league play.
Burke’s crew has been stingy defensively, allowing just seven goals through 10 games. The Derby coach said the biggest key will be preventing the “soft” goal that has plagued his team through the season.
“We have a good identity and we know who we want to be,” Burke said. “Does that translate on the field all the time? No, but we’re trying to be more consistent and not give up soft, easy goals.”
vs. Kapaun Mt. Carmel (Oct. 1)
KAMC 0 1 – 1
DRBY 0 4 – 4
1st half: N/A
D: Denesongkham, 63’ (O. Vielmas)
D: Day, 65’
D: Simmons, 72’
KMC: Black, 77’
D: Munoz, 78’
at Campus (Oct. 3)
DRBY 0 1 0 0 – 1
CAMP 0 1 0 0 – 1
1st half: N/A
Campus goal, 75’
1st & 2nd OT: N/A