LONGMONT — On paper, the Fairview soccer team was at a disadvantage entering Saturday morning’s game against Silver Creek. And it had nothing to do with talent.
The Class 5A semifinalists were coming into the contest at Everly-Montgomery Field with no game experience and a chunk of the roster having played little or no varsity in the past. Silver Creek? Well, the Raptors had already started the 2013 season with a win, and giving the Class 4A Northern League team a little bit of an edge.
With nothing but practices under their belt, Stan Jozwiak prepared his team to be ready for the speed of the game, and the Knights answered the call in a 4-0 win. Fairview scored two goals in each half but more importantly kept the Raptors — a playoff team last year — scrambling to find even a little bit of offense.
“We pretty much kept them off our penalty box, which if you go home with that you can feel pretty good about the way your midfield and your defenders played,” said Jozwiak, now in his 32nd year at FHS. “We talked about them having some speed to their game because they had been out on the field one time already. We were going to have to figure that out the first 20 minutes or so.
“This was a big game for us because we had so many new players to walk on the varsity field. We played very unselfishly and came out with a pretty convincing win. I thought we passed the ball around the middle real well, especially in the first half.”
For both teams, the game presented the right kind of challenge. Silver Creek beat Palmer Ridge 4-2 on Thursday, but the Raptors were left to wonder what they could do to create some sort of attack. Fairview pinned down SC in the midfield, keeping pressure and winning individual battles. That amounted to just two shots on goal, both swallowed up by goalie Alan Scheuermann.
“They stifled our creative players, and the boys that play off those creative players just weren’t able to step up today,” said Silver Creek coach Shane Smith. “We tried making adjustments throughout the game to their midfield, and we just weren’t able to compensate.”
“We know what we’re going to do with the ball, and everyone knows who’s going to be where. That helps us spread out the forwards, get wide and get crosses and push forward center,” said Fairview’s Casey Munsch, who scored two goals to get his season off on the right foot.
The Knights, looking for some early chemistry after the roster overhaul from last year’s Final Four run, found the net shortly into the game when Conor Kerry set up Aidan Stout for the game’s first goal. For FHS, the offense only exploded from there, and it was balanced, too.
An over-the-top ball from Sav Amman to Joel Frykholm in the 35th minute — a play which Frykholm inventively headed the ball down and past Raptors goalie Caleb Foster on a bounce — put the Knights up 2-0. Munsch scored both second half goals, toeing in a rebound for the first one and driving hard down the left middle for his second score.
The creativity on offense was a product of the work from the rest of the team, Munsch added.
“We’ve talked about stepping up in the midfield and winning the ball there,” he said. “We have a saying, ’10 Seconds’ … we try to, as a team, get the ball back in 10 seconds. We fight as hard as we can for that.”
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Fairview 4, Silver Creek 0
At Everly-Montgomery Field
Fairview (1-0) 2 2 — 4
Silver Creek (1-1) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Fairview, Aidan Stout (Conor Kerry assist), 10th minute; Fairview, Joel Frykholm (Sav Amman), 26th minute; Fairview, Casey Munsch (Amman), 47th minute; Fairview, Munsch (unassisted), 55th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Alan Scheuermann (70-0-2), Casey Andriga (10-0-0); Silver Creek: Caleb Foster (70-4-9), Jesus Moreno (10-0-1).