BOULDER — A win is a win.
That is exactly what Fairview coach Jeff Frykholm preached to his girls on Saturday afternoon after the Knights dispatched of Boulder 3-0 at Recht Field.
It wasn't pretty and it never is in a rivalry game, but Fairview did what it needed to do and in the process improved to 7-1 overall and 6-0 in the Front Range League.
"Much credit to Carlos (Real) and Boulder because they know how we play and they put tons of pressure on us and made it tough for us to play out of the back," said Frykholm, whose biggest test to date will be on Tuesday night at home against No. 1 Broomfield (7-0, 5-0) — which beat No. 3 Pine Creek 2-1 on Saturday.
"It was a competitive match and this was a massive week for us and a pivotal one to find a way to come out with nine points, and we were able to do that."
It has been a tough year for the Panthers, especially in goal, and on Saturday Real turned to senior Kim Ramirez to make her first start after an injury to regular starter Emma Perkins forced her to the bench.
The inexperience showed up quickly, and Ramirez — who played brilliantly — made one critical mistake early on and Knights senior Tea Smith made her pay.
Ramirez came out to the top of the 18-yard box and tried to pick up a harmless through ball, but bobbled for just a second and when she did the on-rushing Smith was able to take it away from her and finish into the open goal.
"We can't win games if we can't score and we know that our weakness is in goal and it has been all season. It's just because they are inexperienced; they have a bright future, but they are just not there yet on the varsity level," said Real, whose team dropped to 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the FRL. "But again, if we don't score, we don't win."
Fairview's Skylar Anderson upped the Knights lead to 2-0 in the ninth minute, when she was able to finish past Ramirez, who had come out to try and cut off the angle.
"(Boulder) came out hard, but we just kind of stuck together and pushed through it," said Anderson, who scored her eighth goal of the season. "(Ramirez) did great for never having been there and it was big of her to give it try against us."
To Boulder's credit, they didn't roll over and hang their heads. The Panthers continued their high-pressure game and made things difficult for the Knights.
Midway through the second half, Boulder was swarming in the offensive third and were nearly rewarded, after a scrum in front of Hayden Velds' goal saw a shot cleared away off the line by Mannon Frykholm.
"We never gave up and we never gave up the ball. We fight for and when we don't have it, we pressure it and we make sure we pressure it as soon as possible," Real said. "In various facets today I thought we were better and that is the takeaway; and the girls have adopted the DNA of fight and being fighters and when you have that it transcends the field."
Fairview put the game away in the 66th minute, when they took advantage of one of the few quality opportunities they got in the final 40 minutes. A beautiful cross from sophomore Emma Carter was run on to and volleyed home by freshman Aspen Anderson.
FAIRVIEW 3, BOULDER 0
At Christian Recht FieldFairview (7-1, 6-0)21—3
Boulder (3-7, 2-5)00—0
Goals (assists) — Fairview: Tea Smith (unassisted), 4'; Skylar Anderson (unassisted), 9'; Aspen Anderson (Emma Carter), 66'.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Hayden Velds (88-0-4), Sawyer Whittle (2-0-0); Boulder: Kim Ramirez (80-3-1).