LONGMONT -— If ever two teams were similar, even down to their firey coaches that weren't afraid to express their boisterous opinions, it was Silver Creek and Ponderosa.
And it played out that way on a rainy Saturday in the second round of the Class 4A state tournament. After nothing was settled for the first 80 minutes of regulation, it was the No. 5-seeded Raptors that advanced in overtime on Alexa Karsel's game-winner in the 87th minute.
"I don't even remember what happened, my adrenaline was going and I saw the opportunity and I just went," said Karsel, who is a sophomore at Lyons and a kicker for the Lions football team. "We worked really hard for this."
They certainly did.
The first half saw the visiting 12th-seeded Mustangs have a majority of the chances — out-shooting Silver Creek 4-0, including in the 26th minute when Jazzy Ellis had a chance.
Her 1-on-1 opportunity with the Raptors goalie Kaeyla Noble saw her hit a rocket, and despite the wet condition and a slippery ball, Noble made the play with her hands, catching, securing and not allowing a rebound.
"A lot of has to do with going into warm-ups with the mentality that I am who I am and I have the skill to stop any ball," Noble said. "And if the goalkeeper doesn't have that kind of confidence on a day like this with the ball coming at you at what feels like 100 miles per hour, your going to lose confidence.
"It was one of those things, where I was closing off the angle of her shot and I kept coming to the six. When she shot it, I felt it hit my forehead and then all my muscles tightened, and I was like, wow."
Silver Creek (15-0-2) regrouped for the second half and the offense seemed to flow more smoothly and create chances that just weren't as prevalent in the first.
In the 54th minute, the Raptors made the most out of a corner and it was Karsel who delivered a perfect ball to the middle of the box, where an unmarked Colleen Tyrrell delivered the ice-breaker on her 17th birthday.
Two minutes later they almost went up 2-0, but Mustangs freshman keeper Morgan Palermo made a tremendous save on Kate Eggen.
Ponderosa would equalize in the 60th minute on a corner of their own. The initial ball in was deflected by Noble, but right to the feet of Carolyn Ho, who was able to finish into an open net.
"We have always worked on throughout the season, that confidence, that drive and determination to want to go forward," said Noble of her teams effort after the Ponderosa goal.
It appeared as though Ponderosa had gone up 2-1 in the 72nd minute, but its goal, again off the corner, was disallowed after Noble was interfered with.
It set the table for the dramatic overtime that was all Silver Creek. The Raptors seemed to have the fresher legs and it showed in creating the game-winner.
"With what happened my sophomore year, going to the second round and losing to Steamboat in PKs, all of our seniors were just so determined," Noble said. "With practice and Rob (Johnson) being the amazing coach he is, we have a great support system going through."
SILVER CREEK 2, PONDEROSA 1, OT
At Silver Creek High SchoolPonderosa (12-5) 0 1 0 — 1
Silver Creek (15-0-2) 0 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) —Silver Creek: Colleen Tyrrell (Alexa Karsel), 54th minute; Ponderosa: Carolyn Ho (unassisted), 60th; Silver Creek: Karsel (unassisted), 87th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — PonderosaMorgan Palermo (87-2-2); Silver Creek: Kaeyla Noble (87-1-9).