LOUISVILLE — The Centaurus girls soccer team has been eagerly awaiting the start to its Northern League schedule and validated that excitement when the conference opener finally arrived on Tuesday.
Facing the current conference leader and perennial conference title contender Silver Creek, the Warriors won 2-0 and opened the league season in just about the best way possible.
"Silver Creek is always one of the top teams," Warriors head coach Mario Bezzina said. "I feel like we're always fighting with them for one of the top spots and every season it's a tight game they always seem to find a way to pull something out and win. There's a long way to go, but it's nice that we were able to turn this one around and get off to a good start."
After a scoreless first half, the Warriors (6-1, 1-0 Northern) broke through in the 57th minute of the game when Rachel Mahar scored her third goal of the season. While the Raptors (5-4-1, 2-1 Northern) tried to mount a comeback, an unfortunate handball awarded the Warriors a penalty kick and one-player advantage in the 71st minute.
Jamie Turcotte, who leads the Warriors with five goals on the season, made the penalty shot to give her team the two-goal lead it needed to win.
"With the wind against us in the first half, it was a lot of hard work and making sure they didn't get in behind us," Bezzina said. "The girls did a really good job of working together and interacting as a team. In the second half, it was our turn and we put the chances away."
Tuesday's game was played at Monarch High School because of damage to the field at Centaurus. The Warriors will play the remainder of their home games on the road.
For the Raptors, who are off to a solid start despite battling injuries to several key players through the first several weeks of the season, Tuesday's loss was a tough one after winning their last four games.
"I thought that we played a decent first half that we had started to take the advantage in the second half before allowing the unfortunate goal," Raptors head coach Pat Monacelli said. "That set us back on our heals a little bit but I thought we recovered nicely. We had an unfortunate penalty in the box but I didn't think it was intentional.
"It hurts to lose a game like this where I thought we had the chance to do some good things but we've bounced back from a rough start to the season and we'll keep moving forward."
Centaurus will play Mountain View on Saturday. Silver Creek will play Niwot on Thursday.
Centaurus 2, Silver Creek 0
At Monarch H.S.Silver Creek (5-4-1, 2-1) 0 0 — 0
Centaurus (6-1, 1-0) 0 2 — 2
Goals (assists) — Centaurus: Rachel Mahar, 57th minute; Jamie Turcotte, 71st.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Silver Creek: Kaeyla Noble (80-2-4); Centaurus: Roxana Vranian (80-0-5).