COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — In every state championship game, there is a hero. For the Grandview girls' soccer team, Cailyn Lyubenko can own that title -- twice.
On Wednesday night, the junior led the Wolves to their fourth state championship in five years, with a 2-1 victory over Arapahoe at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
"This team has always been good, this program has always been good," Lyubenko said. "It started five years ago. We had one season off, but we're back again and we're back-to-back. That makes me so happy."
Lyubenko was a sophomore on Grandview's team when they won the state title, back in 2018. The state title match went to overtime, where, just a few minutes after being subbed into the game, she scored the game winning goal. Fast-forward one year, she did the same for the Wolves, only this time as a captain.
"I'm so happy I could do it again, and this is what I wanted so bad, this is what we worked for all season," she said. "I had a great team to support me, so I'm very thankful."
Lyubenko's first goal came inside the box following a throw in in the 25th minute of the first half. Jillian Skurcenski controlled the ball before dishing it off to Lyubenko who sent a blazing shot with her left foot into the far corner of the goal to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Arapahoe tied it up shortly after with a goal from Audrey Weiss, but Lyubenko scored the go-ahead goal with less than two minutes to go in the first half. This time, she struck a long ball past the opposing keeper from outside of the box.
Arapahoe poured on the pressure in the second half, and controlled much of the action. Grandview goalkeeper Madison Livingston made a number of terrific saves to preserve the win.
Grandview previously won state titles in 2018, 2016, 2015 and 2008. Arapahoe, who leads the state in girls' soccer state championships with nine, most recently won a title back in 2006. The Warriors finished as runner-up most recently in 2017 (versus Mountain Vista).