LONGMONT — Longtime area soccer coach Rob Johnson looks a little different wearing the colors of the Silver Creek Raptors. His soccer teams, however, still definitely carry the same traits.

The former Niwot boys and girls coach is well-established at SCHS by now having coached the boys in the fall, but his girls team took to the field on Thursday with fresh concepts against a Skyline team the Raptors tied in their non-league matchup last year.

While Luis Chavez's Skyline team has the coaching and complexity that will go a long way in the near future, Silver Creek's early get-up-and-go to start the season resulted in a 2-0 Raptors win on Skyline's field.

The Raptors got a goal just about 3 minutes into the game, added to it with another score before half and held off the Falcons on a perfect spring afternoon.

Silver Creek will have 20 girls on varsity, a rather large number that brings with it some challenges. But Johnson will continue to contemplate that dynamic with a 1-0 record.

"Good start for the first game, all things considered. We're deep and it's good," said Johnson. "Twenty on varsity is tough because you want to play them all ... the challenge is finding a rhythm and a chemistry and a balance with that big a group."

Though this was a non-league game — both sides deemed it a great battle to start the season — Silver Creek is looking for its third Northern League title in a row and Thursday's outcome represented the right kind of start, senior Denise King said.


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King, a forward, scored her first goal of the season on a well-placed shot toward the end of the first half to give her team that 2-0 lead, following up on an Emily Feller goal that came before most of the crowd had even gotten settled.

The Raptors were possessive, strong in the midfield, and later in the game got a couple of nice through balls to their speedsters that just didn't quite make their way into the twine.

It had been awhile since the Raptors had taken the field for meaningful game action, obviously, but King and her teammates are still trying to shake off a penalty kick playoff loss in overtime up in Steamboat Springs last year.

This one helps a bit.

"We have a really deep bench and our underclassmen are doing phenomenal so I think we're going to do good this year," King said. "I think throughout this game we wanted to pick up the speed more, and I think we did that for the most part.

"Starting this season, that (Steamboat loss) still has put a fire in us. We have a goal of going farther in the playoffs last year, because we had a heartbreaking loss up there."

For Skyline, another team with a super-deep bench, the surprising early deficit was met with a good work ethic to improve by game's end. Particularly in the time surrounding the halftime break, the Falcons gained a little more possession and gave themselves a chance in their offensive third.

Silver Creek goalie Kaeyla Noble had five saves, though the Falcons had a hard time testing her with shots from inside the 18-yard box.

On the other side of things, Falcons keepers Kenna Meier and Grace Miller split time and made some excellent stops to keep their team in it.

"You want to go up against a good team like this to start the year, and we know have an idea that we have a lot to work on," Chavez said. "It's just a matter of time before we're working completely cohesively, because I know that we have a lot of good talent. We just have to find ways to break through defenses and score some goals."

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

Silver Creek 2, Skyline 0

At Skyline HS

Silver Creek (1-0) 2 0 — 2

Skyline (0-1) 0 0 — 0

Goals (assists) — Silver Creek: Emily Feller (Maddie Kim assist); Silver Creek: Denise King (Emily Reitz).

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Silver Creek: Kaeyla Noble (80-0-5); Skyline: Kenna Meier (60-2-6), Grace Miller (20-0-3).