LONGMONT — Now in his fourth year, Pat Monacelli coached in his first home playoff game as head coach of the Silver Creek girls soccer team on Wednesday at Silver Creek High School.
Raptors junior forward Jenna Schemmel made sure Wednesday’s first-round state playoff game against Englewood was also Monacelli’s first playoff win.
Schemmel registered a hat trick in the game to lead the Raptors to a 4-0 win for their coach.
“We knew this was a must-win game from the start,” Schemmel said. “We’re really excited and we’re lucky to have him. He’s a great coach and this win means a lot to us. We just wanted to come in really strong and finish it out. We did that.”
The visiting Pirates (13-1-1) entered the game unbeaten and having outscored their 14 regular-season opponents 59-0 out of the Class 4A Colorado 7 League. The Raptors’ strategy was to score early and shake their confidence.
Schemmel broke free and opened up the scoring early in the fifth minute with a goal off a pass from sophomore midfielder Emily Atwood. After the game, Pirates head coach Chris Kavinsky said the early goal and the Raptors’ offensive onslaught had their desired effect.
Playing nearly the entire first half in Englewood’s defensive third, Silver Creek led 1-0 at halftime. In the second half, the Raptors constant attack finally paid dividends.
Schemmel scored again in the 56th minute and Raptors sophomore midfielder Lexi Dageenakis scored on a penalty kick in the 68th minute. To complete the hat trick, Schemmel ushered in an easy goal off a perfect set up from teammate Ashley Martin in the 72nd minute.
“You have to hand it to them, they had no goals against them coming in,” said Schemmel, who leads the Raptors with 16 goals. “But we really wanted to change that so we tried to get off as many shots as possible.”
The way the Raptors were playing, senior captain Jamie Kirkland saw sporadic action but did make five tough saves. In what was also her first playoff win, Kirkland said the Raptors displayed the skills they had worked all season to perfect.
“In the first half, we had a lot of control,” Kirkland said. “It was the nice kind of soccer where we were making passes and they were all clean. They turned it up a notch to start the second half and had a few opportunities. But we responded and we were able to go back to what we were doing in the first half.”
Monacelli said the Raptors were confident entering Wednesday’s game since they were the higher seed and their three regular-season losses came against No. 2 Broomfield, No. 4 Battle Mountain and No. 5 Niwot.
“I told the girls before the game that this is such a talented team and they work so well together that if we played our game, good things would happen for us in our match,” Monacelli said. “The next round will be a big test for us but I have a lot of confidence in our girls.”
The Raptors will face third-seeded Sand Creek (13-2-1) in Colorado Springs on Saturday. Sand Creek won 8-0 over 30th-seeded Coronado (8-8) in the first round on Wednesday.
Follow Brad on Twitter: twitter.com/BradCochi
Silver Creek 4, Englewood 0
At Silver Creek H.S.
Englewood (13-1-1) 0 0 — 0
Silver Creek (11-3-2) 1 3 — 4
Goals (assists) — Silver Creek: Jenna Schemmel (Emily Atwood), 5th minute; Schemmel, 56th minute; Lexi Dageenakis (penalty kick), 68th minute; Schemmel (Ashley Martin), 72nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Englewood: Miranda Holman (80-4-11); Silver Creek: Jamie Kirkland (74-0-5), Zoe Benedict (6-0-1).