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Girls soccer: Moser finds Fox for Holy Family’s OT winner over Silver Creek

Tigers will look to defend their state title as the postseason begins next week

LONGMONT — Holy Family's Anya Moser passes with Silver Creek's Ella Mertz behind Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
LONGMONT — Holy Family’s Anya Moser passes with Silver Creek’s Ella Mertz behind Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

LONGMONT — Stained in mud and grass, Anya Moser’s white jersey could use some bleach. Her pearly uniform soon matched the mucky conditions Holy Family and Silver Creek played in Wednesday night. A badge of honor for her fierce play on the field.

And yet it was her picturesque pass in the mess that highlighted the night. Her looping cross in the box drew to Taylor Fox’s foot, and then to the back of the net, as the Tigers won in walkoff fashion on the Raptors’ field, 1-0 in overtime.

“I kind of just forget everything else going on around me and play the game,” Moser said when asked about her breakneck style of play. “I don’t think of much else. Just playing the game with my favorite people.”

Fox’s goal in the 88th minute ended Holy Family’s five-game losing streak to Silver Creek, a slump that dated back to April 2015.

In wet and cold conditions — the kind that made Silver Creek goalie Kara Nelson comically call out “I’m cold” late in regulation – the two possession-oriented teams struggled to find much sustained traction.

Rain throughout the day encroached sure footing on the field, limiting some power and quickness. During the break, school officials broomed out standing water where they could. Even so, a few fans were splashed as the ball went out of bounds and dunked into a puddle on the far sideline. They absorbed it with a laugh.

On the field, a crossing pass from Nora Fry to Mia VanLeeuwen nearly broke a scoreless game in the 28th minute for the Raptors. With a defender on her back, VanLeeuwen got her foot on the ball as she slid toward the net. It hit the crossbar and rolled away.

From there, Tigers keeper Olivia Dietrich and Nelson traded denies to force overtime.

With the ball looping at her in the box late in the first extra period, Fox got a clean touch on the eventual winner.

“I could tell she was going to play it to me,” Fox said. “I knew she could play a good ball and I knew I had a chance to get in and it was up to me.”

Holy Family (8-5, 7-3 5A/4A NCAC) has now won three straight, which should help its bid to host the opening round of next week’s postseason. The Tigers, who won the 4A title a year ago as the 12 seed, came into the night ranked 18th in the classification’s RPI standings. The top 16 host in the 32-team field.

“We lost quite a few seniors last year but that hasn’t stopped our full-force-ahead mentality,” Moser said. “(We’re) just wanting to win state again.”

Silver Creek (7-5-2, 5-3-2) came into the night ranked 23rd in 5A RPI. The Raptors were snubbed in the condensed postseason field a season ago despite going 9-1. This year, after playing a tough 5A non-conference schedule, they are strongly in.

“Hey, they’re just leaving it on the field,” Silver Creek coach Rob Johnson said of his team. “I can’t ever be mad at that. It was a very close game for both teams. Both teams had chances. And I can’t ever be mad if they’re leaving it on the field, and that’s what they’re doing.”

The Raptors will finish the regular season at home against Northglenn Friday. The Tigers finish on the road, with D’Evelyn Friday and George Washington Saturday.

Class 5A first-round games start Tuesday, while 4A goes Wednesday.

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