LAFAYETTE — With a home stretch of a tight race for the Northern League boys soccer championship on the horizon, Billy Hoffmann is coming alive at the right time.
On Monday night at Centaurus High School, the senior scored his sixth goal of the season during a 1-0 win over another Northern League favorite in the Centaurus Warriors.
Hoffmann has scored all six of his goals this season in the Cougars' last five games.
"I've been working up top a lot with Justin Barkow," Hoffmann said. "It's easy to play with a guy like that and we've been connecting really well. Our defense has also been giving us a lot of room to work with so it's been a whole team effort."
The rapport between Hoffmann and Barkow, who leads the team with 10 goals, appears to be paying dividends for the Cougars. The Cougars (7-1-1, 2-0-1 Northern) are 4-0-1 when Hoffmann scores a goal. In that span, he also had three assists during a 9-0 rout of Mountain View.
Hoffmann's latest goal broke a scoreless stalemate in the 62nd minute on Monday night.
After Hoffmann's score put the Cougars up in the second half, the Cougars were able to hold the lead against a Warriors attack that nearly broke through but barely misfired on several potential game-tying headers down the stretch.
"It was a good battle," Cougars head coach Rob Johnson said. "In my opinion, that's the top two teams in the Northern right now so we were happy to get a win tonight."
The Cougars now lead the Northern League and the Warriors (4-2-1, 1-1 Northern) are in fourth place behind Greeley West (4-3-2, 1-0-1) and Thompson Valley (5-1-2, 1-0-1).
"It was a physical, playoff type game," Warriors head coach Ken Ebersole said. "Both teams really wanted this game because we both believe we're two of the best teams in the league."
The Cougars will play Longmont (2-5, 0-0 Northern) on Wednesday. The Warriors will play Greeley West on Wednesday.
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Niwot 1, Centaurus 0
At Centaurus H.S.
Niwot (7-1-1, 2-0-1) 0 1 — 1
Centaurus (4-2-1, 1-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Niwot: Billy Hoffmann (unassisted), 62nd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Niwot: Jack Fitzgerald (80-0-7); Centaurus: Ventura Dominguez (80-1-8).