Boys soccer: Silver Creek relies on defense in win over Holy Family

Alex Larner stellar between the posts for Raptors

Silver Creek's Ben Hyman clears the ...
Alissa Noe/
Silver Creek’s Ben Hyman clears the ball away with a header in the first half of the Raptors’ game against Holy Family on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 in Longmont.

LONGMONT — Five games into the young season, Silver Creek boys soccer has shown time and time again what a solid defense and near-impenetrable goal can do to propel a team to victory.

On Monday night on their home pitch, the Raptors did it again with a 5-2 victory over visiting Holy Family. Junior keeper Alex Larner proved pivotal to keeping the Raptors on top of the Tigers, and no time frame displayed that better than between the 62nd and 66th minutes, when Larner wasn’t on the field.

Raptor coach Rob Johnson pulled his keeper phenom out of play right after senior striker E.J. Davis netted their third score to put his team up 3-0. Holy Family wasted no time capitalizing on that advantage as sophomore center midfielder Abel Robles and senior forward Jackson Ward launched two balls into the back of the net over the next four minutes.

Johnson got the message.

He subbed Larner back into the goal, where he subsequently made two massive saves, first off a corner kick and then off of a direct shot to him, to keep the Tigers at bay with the slight 3-2 lead. Those stops gave his defense the life it needed to batten down the hatches again, as it had in each of the 60 minutes before that.

“They were really solid getting airballs and all kinds of the plays,” Larner said. “I didn’t have to clear up too many, which means a solid performance by the defense. It breaks down the other teams when (the offense) is scoring a lot of goals. Sometimes, the strikers may not be able to play as well. It makes it easier for me.”

That was all the firepower that Davis needed, as he ignited in the final 10 minutes of play to score twice more. That 3-2 score was much too close for his comfort.

“We let them score two and so we had to pick it up,” Davis said. “I think a lot of the time, we make ourselves rely on our offense a little bit too much, but we get the job done every time.”

With the win, the Raptors advance to 5-0 on the season as they hope to crack into the Class 5A top 10 this week. Holy Family, which fell to 2-3 in Class 4A play, got the wake-up call it needed to right the ship moving forward.

Once the Tigers iron out the wrinkles in their game, however, Ward believes the midfield can lead the squad to more “W’s” and fewer “what-ifs.”

“I think we had the even match, we just forgot how to play,” he said. “Last game, we were knocking the ball around and moving off the ball really well. This game, we were just kicking it, it felt like. I feel like when we scored those two goals, we came together as a team but for the other 70 minutes, we just didn’t have that.”

Alissa Noe/
Holy Family’s Abel Robles dribbles the ball through Silver Creek defenders during the first half of the Tigers’ match at Silver Creek High School on Monday, September 13, 2021. (Photo by Alissa Noe/