• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder keeper Miguel Alaniz makes a save on a shot by Adan Varela during a playoff game against Adams City on Thursday at Recht Field.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Boulder's Brian Castruita heads the ball over Luis Genaro Galvan of Adams City during a playoff game Thursday at Recht Field. More photos: BoCoPreps.com



BOULDER — Almost a year ago to the day, the Boulder High boys soccer team began its 2014 run to the 5A state championship game with a first-round win over Adams City at home at Recht Field.

As the sixth seed in this year’s state tournament, the Boulder Panthers (12-4) hosted the 24th-seeded Adams City Eagles (8-7-1) in the first round for the second straight year. This year’s result was a 4-0 Panthers victory.

“There are always nerves at first,” Panthers senior Jaime Astorga said. “Sometimes the first game is the hardest one to win. We knew they were going to be excited to play us since we knocked them out last year but one of our main goals is just to keep the season going as long as we can and that started with this game tonight.”

State champions in 2012 and 5A state runners-up last season, the Panthers know the value of a strong start and went on the offensive from the opening whistle of Thursday’s game. On the Panthers’ eighth shot of the game, senior Sam Kirk finished a beautiful set up from teammate Leroy Alphonse to give his team the lead in the 32nd minute.

With Boulder on the attack and its defense doing well in support, Adams City did not get off a shot in the first half and Boulder led 1-0 at the midway break.

Alphonse pushed the Panthers’ lead to two with a goal 25 seconds into the second half. Astorga, who assisted on Alphonse’s goal, scored a goal of his own two minutes later. In the 58th minute, junior Blaise Werner, who played most of the season on junior varsity, finished a corner kick to put Boulder up 4-0.

“We found our motivation,” Panthers head coach Hardy Kalisher said. “Soccer is a game without timeouts so halftime is when you get to talk about adjustments. We executed on those so kudos to the boys.”

The Panthers outshot the Eagles 23-3 and put 52 percent of their shots on goal.

Boulder defeated Adams City 2-1 in the first round of last year’s 5A state tournament and went on to lose 2-0 to Broomfield in the 2014 5A state championship. The Panthers’ hopeful return run will continue next Wednesday against 25th-seeded Legacy (9-7), which pulled off a 5-0 upset against eighth-seeded ThunderRidge (13-3) on Thursday night.

Since the higher seeded team hosts in the first three rounds, Thursday’s first-round upset for the Front Range-rival Legacy Lightning, which Boulder defeated 3-1 during the regular season, means the Panthers will host the postseason rematch.

“Good on Legacy for winning and we’re excited to be coming back to Recht Field because a lot of magic happens at Recht Field,” Kalisher said.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi


Boulder 4, Adams City 0

At Boulder H.S.

Adams City (8-7-1) 0 0 — 0 

Boulder (12-4) 1 3 — 4

Goals (assists) — Boulder: Sam Kirk (Leroy Alphonse), 32nd minute; Leroy Alphonse (Jaime Astorga), 41st; Jaime Astorga, 43rd; Blaise Werner (Jack Dooley), 58th.

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Adams City: Galvan Ernesto (80-4-8); Boulder: Miguel Alaniz (80-0-1).