The Boulder High girls soccer team has had a flair for the dramatic so far in 2015. That the Panthers have so much fluidity so early in the season to begin with is quite the feat considering what they lost to graduation.
Boulder won its second game of the season on Tuesday night, and both have come in overtime. Tuesday's victory against Chatfield came off the foot of junior Laura Greer, who found some open space in the 93rd minute after gathering in a Lauren Moss pass, giving BHS the 1-0 double-overtime win to improve to 2-1.
It was a much deserved win after holding the Chargers (1-3) without a shot on goal and playing with impeccable organization throughout the game at Recht Field. Even with a younger team than last season, and with a lot of new pieces in place, Boulder has found an early cohesiveness on the pitch.
"We feel good about the way we're playing the game this year, and we've set out to play attractive soccer all year — soccer that you'd want to watch," Boulder head coach Ryan Henkel said. "The final piece is always the hardest piece to find, and that's the ball in the back of the net. We apparently want to wait until overtime to do it."
"I think what's great about Boulder soccer is how strong we are from C team to varsity, and I have every bit of confidence in the new players that we bring up," Greer said. "The new players that we have just seem to add even more to the team."
After coming away with an overtime win against Cherokee Trail to start the season, Henkel felt good about his team's effort against top-ranked Rock Canyon the next time out — even though it was a 4-0 loss.
Tuesday, the connection was everywhere. Boulder's defensive line, which includes Alexander, Siri O'Donnell, Tessa Regnier, Emma Dooley, Kenzie Tierney and others, shut down the Chargers often before the visitors were able to maneuver into the 18-yard box.
"Siri has brought great energy, and she's an incredible center back," fellow defender Mariah Alexander said. "We do have a couple new members on our center line, but like Laura said, we have complete confidence in them. Teamwork, communication and our work ethic have been great."
Though they struggled to finish their chances — most of Boulder's best shots didn't make it on frame — the work to get those chances was often a result of concise passing among the team.
Moss, Dooley and Anna Boylan had several ripped shots at the goal, and in the first overtime Boylan nearly potted the ball into the net with a soft tap off a cross. Erin Rafferty, Chatfield's goalie who finished with eight saves, made her best stop by getting a palm on it to deflect it into the corner of the field.
With 7:45 left on the clock in double-overtime, Greer would not be denied. At the top of the box, she was able to shake off one defender and found herself right in the middle of the goal with options. She chose to poke it to the goalie's left, and she was successful.
"It was just building up, and the longer we played the closer we got," Greer said. "It got to that point where we deserved one."
Greer is the fastest player on the field in most instances, and it was clear the Panthers wanted to get her the ball on the wings a lot. But with the possession skills of girls like Bridget Toll, Elsy Segovia and Jess Tierney along with the controlled play of the midfield, there is a lot of hope for the remainder of the season.
"We had good chemistry between our front line and the midfield," Henkel said. "The girls have built a team on core values and family and they play like that on the field."
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Boulder 1, Chatfield 0, 2OT
At Recht FieldChatfield (1-3) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Boulder (2-1) 0 0 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — Boulder: Laura Greer (Lauren Moss assist), 93rd minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Chatfield: Erin Rafferty (93-1-8); Boulder: Faviola Morquecho (93-0-0).