LONGMONT — The Silver Creek girls soccer team won 7-0 against cross-town rival Skyline on Thursday but the Raptors haven't exactly cruised through the first couple weeks of the 2019 season.
Following a 2018 season in which they reached the Class 4A state semifinals, the Raptors entered this spring ranked No. 1 in their classification by the CHSAANow.com preseason poll. They have since gone 3-1-1 and have dropped to No. 6 in the latest poll, but the Raptors' goals have not changed.
Make no mistake, the Silver Creek girls still have their sights set on a state title.
As senior captain Annalise Teasdale tells it, the biggest difference from last year to this is that the Raptors have had to shift their mindset and alter their approach. Unlike last spring when they spent two months fighting to sustain an unbelievably hot start, this spring's Raptors feel as though they are building towards a peak.
"We definitely have some unfinished business from last year," Teasdale said. "We have come out so far this year with a pretty tough starting record. Being undefeated for most of last year, that was something we were looking to replicate. It hasn't quite been that but we're just trying to rebuild and we've been happy with the results we've been getting, especially against the tougher teams we've played.
"Last year really took us by surprise and this year we're really focused on building and building team chemistry. We're looking to work together to get where we want to go."
The Raptors returned seven starters from last year's team that nearly went unbeaten. Prior to Thursday's game, they had beaten Golden (1-1-1), lost 2-1 to Green Mountain (now 5-0 and the new No. 1 4A squad), played 5A Legacy to a scoreless tie, and won 5-0 over Denver South.
In Thursday's non-conference game against the Falcons (0-4), seven different Raptors — Katie James, Annika Kassenbrock, Eliana Miller, Colleen Tyrrell, Greta Goldsberry, Alexa Karsel and Teasdale — scored a goal. Tyrrell, a senior, is currently tied with sophomore Jillian Acosta for the Raptors team lead with three goals.
"It's a cross-town rivalry and we always get excited for that, especially so close to spring break," Teasdale said. "We're happy with the result, for sure."
Once they return from spring break, the Raptors will play their second ranked opponent of the season when they host No. 2 Holy Family on May 1.
A perennial playoff club and a postseason qualifier a year ago, Skyline has struggled mightily through the early portion of the 2019 season. Losing four times in as many tries, the Falcons have been outscored 24-5 through a tough early schedule that included two ranked opponents.
"We expected it to be a little bit of a rough season but I cannot complain about our girls' effort and their integrity," Skyline head coach Luis Chavez said. "Right now, soccer-wise, we're just really working hard to come together. We've showed what we're capable of at times, like putting three goals away against Niwot. But even if we don't make the playoffs, it's important that we find ways to show improvement and find ways to play better as a unit."
When the Falcons return from their own spring break, they will host Berthoud (0-1) for their first Tri-Valley League game on May 3.
Silver Creek 7, Skyline 0
At Silver Creek H.S.Skyline (0-4) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) —Silver Creek: Katie James (Annika Kassenbrock), 10th minute; Kassenbrock (Colleen Tyrrell), 14th; Eliana Miller, 19th; Tyrrell (Alexa Karsel), 36th; Annalise Teasdale (Tyrrell), 38th; Greta Goldsberry (Karsel), 58th; Karsel, 62nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Skyline: Grace Miller (80-7-8); Silver Creek: Natalie Schauer (80-0-3).