Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
LAFAYETTE — Expectations are high for the Silver Creek girls soccer team in 2019.
Coming off a season where they reached the semifinals in the Class 4A state tournament, the Raptors are looking to go a couple steps further and win the title with a good core back from last year.
While the Northern League title is not at the top of their list, Silver Creek took a major step towards earning that distinction on Thursday with a 3-0 win over the Centaurus Warriors on the road.
“We knew (Centaurus) could take the league from us, or we could take it from them,” Silver Creek’s Annika Kassenbrock said. “We knew we needed to win this game for our league.”
Confidence was high for Silver Creek to take care of business on the road having won its past seven games and out-scoring the competition 49-10 in that stretch. The Raptors controlled the pace early and took advantage of turnovers from Centaurus to create some offensive looks, including a penalty kick taken by Colleen Tyrrell that was stopped.
Silver Creek was finally rewarded with a goal when Kate Eggen received the ball in the middle of the field and was able to turn and fire a shot towards the top of the net that beat freshman goalie Page Sanchez.
“I just saw the open left side of the goal and I took the shot from outside the box,” Eggen said.
Two chances followed for Centaurus that were stopped and Silver Creek created the rest of the scoring chances in the first half but could not score. With only a one-goal lead, the Raptors were stressing getting an early goal in the second half to be rewarded for their efforts and to get some breathing room. The goal came from Kassenbrock four minutes into the half on a breakaway.
“I felt that we were kind of freaking out at first because it was only 1-0,” Kassenbrock said. “The 2-0 lead made us feel like we were the better team and calmed us down to possess the ball and focus on what we needed to do.”
A golden chance at the midway point came for Centaurus’ leading scorer Mikaela Ferraro when she got free on the right side and put a shot on net, but a big save from Raptors’ goalie Natalie Schauer kept the lead at two. Eliana Miller would add to the lead just a minute later with a bender to the top of the crossbar from distance.
The missed opportunities to tie or cut the lead proved costly, said Centaurus coach Mario Bezzina.
“All we needed was that confirmation that we could compete (with Silver Creek),” Bezzina said. “They are a very good team, they make good passes and their movement is good. If we had put one back, we could have got back into the game.”
Just three games remain in the regular season for both teams as they look to secure a postseason bid. When it comes to Silver Creek, they are motivated to make a deeper run in the playoffs from last season and are confident this group can get that done.
“It’s been our goal for the whole season,” Eggen said. “We’re just trying to work hard and make it all the way.”
As for Centaurus, their focus shifts to staying in the second spot in the league standings to secure their postseason bid and to find some momentum in the final weeks.
“Once you’re in the top two (of your league), you’re in,” Bezzina said. “We need to get the number two spot. I don’t think we can get the number one spot at this point, but we’ll be fighting tooth-and-nail for that second spot.”
Silver Creek 3, Centaurus 0
At Centaurus High School
SILVER CREEK (10-1-1, 5-0) 1 2 — 3
Goals (assists) —Silver Creek: Kate Eggen (Annika Kassenbrock) 23rd minute; Kassenbrock (Mykalah Callahan) 44th; Eliana Miller (Greta Goldsberry) 62nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Silver Creek: Natalie Schauer (80-0-4); Centaurus: Page Sanchez (80-3-12).