LAFAYETTE — For anyone believing speed is Shanlie Anderson’s chief asset on the soccer pitch, here’s a message for you.
You’re probably right.
But on Thursday night, the Northern Colorado-bound forward from Centaurus exhibited a multidimensional range of skills in a 5-0 win over Holy Family at Warrior Stadium.
Anderson used a tactical array of footwork to set up two goals in the opening 10 minutes — one to Lauren Esler, the other to Midori Patterson — then rocketed home a goal of her own later in the first half. That one ricocheted off the top of the crossbar and into the net as the Warriors (2-1-1), receiving votes in Class 4A, knocked off 3A’s No. 2 team.
“The speed is there, but obviously there’s more than speed in D-I soccer,” said Anderson, who has been putting in extra work with her travel-team coach. “I just need to work on all of my skills.”
The Warriors rocketed to a 4-0 halftime lead in the cross-classification nonleague contest, also getting an early goal from Danelle Dondelinger. Esler (two goals, one assist) added a goal in the second half as Centaurus avenged a 1-0 loss to Holy Family nearly exactly one year earlier.
“We were a little worried at first, knowing we couldn’t underestimate them since the beat us last year,” Anderson said. “But we came out hard.”
This one was a far cry from last season’s matchup, in which Tigers then-junior Micaela Blanchard tallied the only goal. There were no tense final moments in this one, other than the teams wanting to find refuge from the bitter early-evening wind that gradually increased its tenacity after sundown.
“It’s nice to win, because it’s mostly our same team from last year,” Centaurus coach Mario Bezzina said. “But more important is the growth of the girls. And I think we have a better system this year that seems to be working so far.”
Holy Family (1-1) was probably a little greener than most teams playing their second game of the season. Five players, including captains Blanchard and Monica Stokes and goalie Maggie Spitzer, were members of the Tigers basketball team that finished off a state championship run Saturday in Fort Collins.
That meant little practice time for the Tigers full unit, little time to develop early-season cohesion.
“If you play Thursday, Friday and Saturday — then go to double-overtime on Saturday — then come out and make a switch to soccer, that’s more than you can ask,” Holy Family coach George Connolly said.
The shorthanded Tigers opened Tuesday with a quality 2-1 win against No. 5 Manitou Springs, so Connolly has no worries about his team rounding into shape.
“We’re the best team in 3A, that’s what I think,” he said. “But kudos to Centaurus. They’re a very good squad and they’ll be ranked in the Top 10 in 4A before this is all over.”
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Centaurus 5, Holy Family 0
At Centaurus H.S.
Holy Family (1-1) 0 0 — 0
Centaurus (2-1-1) 4 1 — 5
Goals (assists) — Centaurus: Esler (Anderson), 7th minute; Centaurus: Patterson (Anderson), 10th; Centaurus: Dondelinger (Esler), 19th; Centaurus: Anderson (Patterson), 25th; Centaurus: Esler (Matino), 59th.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Holy Family: Spitzer (80-5-5); Centaurus: Tran (80-0-2).