Boys soccer: Boulder blitzed on the road against Cherry Creek

No. 4-ranked Panthers drop to 3-2 early in 2019 campaign

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder's Brian Ordaz, right, is shadowed by Cherry Creek's Alex Schneider during the first half of their game played at Stutler Bowl on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Cherry Creek's Blake Bennett, left, tries to catch up to Boulder's Oliver English before he can make a pass during their game at Stutler Bowl on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder's Christian De Simone gathers the ball to play it against Cherry Creek on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village. .

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder's Larson Burak, left, and Cherry Creek's Zachary Post battle for possession of the soccer ball during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 in Greenwood Village.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder's Micah Blackburn, left, passes the ball while Cherry Creek's Nolan Roberts, right, chases him on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Cherry Creek's Nolan Roberts, left, and Boulder's Isaac Sherman meet at the ball with possession in mind during their game played at Stutler Bowl on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE – The first 26 days of the Boulder boys soccer team’s 2019 season have produced a mixture of disappointing losses, solid wins and emotional rivalry battles that stretched into extra time.

When it appeared the Panthers were poised to do what they do and rattle off a lengthy stretch of good results, they fell 2-0 to an athletic and aggressive Cherry Creek club at the Stutler Bowl on Tuesday.

“I feel like we put everything we had into it and it just didn’t go our way,” Panthers senior forward Max Neumann said. “We matched their intensity and we definitely had chances that we should have put in. We just didn’t put it away.”

Boulder's Larson Burak, left, and Cherry ...
Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com
Boulder’s Larson Burak, left, and Cherry Creek’s Zachary Post battle for possession of the soccer ball during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 in Greenwood Village.

Coming off an overtime victory over rival Fairview last week, the Panthers (3-2) are listed at No. 8 in Region VIII (CA, CO, ID, NV, NM, OR) by the latest USA TODAY High School Sports and National Soccer Coaches Association Super 25 Regional Boys Fall Soccer Rankings. They are currently ranked No. 4 in Class 5A by the CHSAANow.com poll.

The first half of Tuesday’s nonleague game ended in a scoreless tie after Boulder put three shots on goal to Cherry Creek’s two. Bruins (5-2-1) senior Blake Bennett finally broke the ice with a goal off a long cross in the 67th minute. Bruins sophomore Cyrus Gulati pushed the lead to 2-0 when he got behind the Boulder defense and chipped the keeper with a shot that first bounced off the right post and eventually spun into the left side of the goal.

“I would say it was a classic Cherry Creek game; very athletic, very direct,” Panthers head coach Hardy Kalisher said. “In the second half we actually started to play into our game, which is getting the ball on the ground and being able to move the ball around. We played a better second half and we created opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net. But when you don’t finish against an athletic team like Cherry Creek, they can run it right back at you and make you pay.”

The loss snapped a three-game win streak for Boulder and dropped the Panthers’ record against Cherry Creek to 2-4-1 in the teams’ past seven meetings going back to 2010. The Panthers return to Front Range League play when they travel to face Fort Collins (1-1-1, 1-0) on Thursday.

“We’ll learn from this game and get better from this game,” Kalisher said. “These are the quality of teams we want to be playing at this point in the season because we learn about the character of our team. I believe in these guys and we’ll just keep getting strong and better as we go.”