BOULDER — The Fairview girls soccer team has come flying into the season with a unique combination of grit and flair.
The Knights' grit has shown in their ability to endure overtime in three of their first four games. Junior goal-scoring machine Tea Smith has provided the flair.
At Fairview High on Tuesday night, Smith scored her ninth goal of the season 26 seconds into the second overtime period in a 2-1 win over cross-town rival Boulder.
"Obviously I can always do better but it's been a good start to the season," Smith said. "It's really exciting because we've had a whole team effort and it's been really well done by everybody."
Tuesday's game was the third straight overtime game for the Knights (3-1, 2-0 Front Range). Their last game, a 4-3 overtime win over Cherry Creek, which ranked fourth in 5A at the time, was a full 15 days prior. Smith had a hat trick in that game.
After a scoreless first half against the Panthers (0-2-1, 0-1 Front Range), Smith put the Knights on the board first with a goal in the 48th minute. Just as the Knights began to take control in the second half, Boulder's Allyson Murphy Pauletto capitalized on a defensive miscue to even the score with a goal in the 56th minute.
Both teams came within feet of scoring in the final seven minutes but the game remained tied through the first overtime until Smith ended the game at the outset of the second.
"That's honestly our third overtime game in a row, second double overtime in the last three games," Fairview head coach Dan Niedringhaus said. "We like to make it interesting, I guess. But it shows that we can play with anyone and it shows that we're able to focus for the whole game."
The Panthers got a 12-save performance from sophomore goalkeeper Zoe Kellermeyer but still find themselves searching for their first win in 2016.
"That was a good hometown rivalry type of game, back and forth," Panthers head coach Jason LaMere said. "I thought in the first half we had the better play, the possession, but they came out in the second with a little more energy. It's obviously heartbreaking and disappointing but I think we're playing good soccer and there are a lot of positives to take away from that."
The Knights will play at fourth-ranked Monarch (4-0, 1-0 Front Range) on Thursday. The Monarch Coyotes defeated the second-ranked defending 5A runner-up Broomfield Eagles (3-1, 0-1 Front Range) on Tuesday night.
The Boulder Panthers will play at Horizon (1-1, 0-1 Front Range) on Thursday.
Fairview 2, Boulder 1
At Fairview H.S.Boulder (0-2-1, 0-1) 0 1 0 0 — 1
Fairview (3-1, 2-0) 0 1 0 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Boulder: Allyson Murphy Pauletto, 56th minute; Fairview: Tea Smith, 48th minute; Smith, 91st.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Zoe Kellermeyer (91-2-12); Fairview: Avery Tallman (91-1-3).