LONGMONT — The undefeated Silver Creek boys soccer team still hasn’t allowed a goal through five games after shutting out Centaurus 3-0 on Tuesday.

Both the Raptors and Warriors entered the game 2-0 in the 4A Northern Conference, and the Raptors stepped up their game against their toughest opponent yet. The stingy Raptors defense tightened up a little extra against the Warriors, holding the visitors to just six shots on goal despite taking 21 total.

Raptors goalkeeper Kyle Kirkland made seven saves to continue his five-game shutout streak, which he said has been a team effort.

“We’ve changed the atmosphere completely,” said Kirkland, who hasn’t allowed a goal in 409 minutes this season. “I think our formation has a lot to do with it. We’re playing three in the central midfield and they’re helping our center backs a lot. And plus we have two very strong center backs in Erik (Monahan) and Steven (Flores).”

It was defense at the offensive end of the field that led to the Raptors’ first goal.

Junior midfielder Brian Hardy made the Warriors defenders pay for a risky pass across the middle to put the Raptors on the board in the fifth minute. He intercepted the swing pass at the back and fired far side for the game’s first goal.

“Well, we’re supposed to play defense on offense still,” Hardy said. “That’s just what happens when you try hard up top.”

The Raptors scored a goal within the first five minutes of each half.

Hardy surprised the Warriors, who seemed to have no answer for his speed, again early in the second half. He received a give-and-go pass on the right side, went to goal and split two Warriors defenders for a quick side-foot shot. Warriors goalkeeper Ryan Ebersole made eight saves on the day and his snap reaction saved the shot, but center midfielder Jonathan Wright was there to finish the deflection in the 42nd minute.

Seven minutes later, Hardy created havoc once again. His through-ball from the right side found Austin Rankin wide open in the middle. Rankin’s controlled placement shot found the far netting and put the game out of the Warriors’ reach.

“They were a quality opponent, I’ll give them credit,” Raptors first-year head coach Shane Smith said of the Warriors. “I was nervous coming into this game, to be honest. At 1-0 at half, it was anyone’s game. The stars fell our way today.”

The Warriors outshot the Raptors 21-14, but couldn’t find the net. Head coach Ken Ebersole said Hardy’s 5th-minute goal on the passing error changed the way the Warriors played.

“It was an unfortunate play, just something that shouldn’t even have happened,” Ebersole said. “All of a sudden, we’re behind 1-0. Instead of battling them, now it’s a scramble. We started working a little extra hard and then too many guys started to take it on themselves instead of letting the team still go.”

Both teams have tough opponents coming up on Thursday. The Raptors will play at Broomfield. The Warriors take on undefeated Niwot (6-0-1, 2-0) at home.

Brad Cochi can be reached at bcochi@times-call.com.


At Silver Creek H.S.

Centaurus (4-4, 2-1) 0 0 — 0

Silver Creek (5-0, 3-0) 1 2 — 3

Goals (assists) — Silver Creek: Brian Hardy, 5th minute; Jonathan Wright, 42nd minute; Austin Rankin, 49th minute.

Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Centaurus: Ryan Ebersole (80-3-8). Silver Creek: Kyle Kirkland (80-0-7).

Shots — Centaurus 21, Silver Creek 14.

Shots on goal — Centaurus 6, Silver Creek 7.

Corner kicks — Centaurus 3, Silver Creek 3.