You could feel the confidence, and even a bit of the defiance when Silver Creek junior Kael Pacaro stated that the Raptors could beat anyone following their perceived upset victory over Class 5A No. 1 Fairview Tuesday night.
The Longmont program has returned to the 4A classification after two successful seasons in 5A, which included last fall when the Raptors were undefeated before falling 1-0 to eventual champ Grandview in the state second round. The fact it wasn’t ranked in the CHSAA 4A preseason coaches poll following it could be the perfect slight for a team to rally around.
In the 61st minute at Fairview’s turf field, Pacaro got his own rebound off Silver Creek’s second penalty kick of the night. He then beat the Knights’ star goalkeeper Shane Williams, who was still on the ground after denying his initial try, as the Raptors prevailed 1-0.
— Brent W. New (@BrentWNew) August 31, 2022
“Getting a win like this shows we can accomplish what we want to,” all-region center back Grant Gaddis said afterward. “It’s a good confidence booster.”
While no judgement in sport may be more beneficial and detrimental than soccer’s penalty kick — inside the box, a target 24 feet wide and 8 feet vertical, for many baleful goalkeepers it’s waving a stick at a firestorm — hapless has become something of an art form for Williams.
The senior who’d made his name in the program with multiple PK saves in the spring postseason of 2021 (where Fairview eventually won its first state title), stood in against the odds twice Tuesday, dazzling both times in diving denial.
HT: 5A No. 1 Fairview and 4A No. 6 Silver Creek scoreless.
Knights GK Shane Williams, who made a name for himself with the program when he saved multiple PKs in the spring 2021 playoffs, makes a PK save against SC. He's been brilliant.@BoCoPreps @CHSAA @FairviewAD @SCRaptorsAD pic.twitter.com/AVNnrhTcnC
— Brent W. New (@BrentWNew) August 31, 2022
Pacaro’s follow-up for Silver Creek (3-0) had spoiled another staunch outing for Williams, who impressed again this season with multiple saves, often brilliant in form, for young Fairview (3-1). Through four games, he is averaging double-digit saves, among the most in the state.
“In previous years we’ve had double the seniors we have this year,” Williams said. “I think that was part of the start to this game. Not as composed. But as we go through the season, I think we’re going to get better and better.”
Elsewhere in 5A …
Four of the top five teams in the classification are from the Front Range League.
No. 3 Broomfield, under new coach Zachary Hindman, began its campaign with wins over 4A No. 5 Cheyenne Mountain and Ralston Valley. Yosef Nunez already has three goals as the Eagles face preseason No. 2 Castle View Thursday.
No. 4 Boulder was ranked first in the classification last week after beating the Castle Rock school in its opener. It then fell to No. 2 Valor Christian and tied Regis Jesuit last week.
No. 5 Legacy, off a season in which it reached the semifinals, moved to 2-0 with a pair of 1-0 wins over Rock Canyon and 5A No. 6 Arapahoe. Reigning BoCoPreps.com player of the year Cooper Stephens, who had 50 points last fall, assisted both goals.
Monarch, unranked, moved to 3-1 Tuesday after Sean Kendall scored a hat trick in an 8-0 win over Lakewood.
In 4A …
Silver Creek, sixth in the CHSAA rankings this week, should have assured itself a top-three spot in it with the win over Fairview. If it can add another against Boulder Thursday, maybe that’s still underselling Rob Johnson’s team. (If they care).
— Owen Kalisher (@OwenKalisher) August 31, 2022
Outside the Raptors, there’s been other promising starts around town.
Among them, Brian Heredia has six goals and Skyline has outscored its first four opponents 18-1, improving to 4-0 for the first time since 2015.
That’s the same year Longmont previously started a season with two wins, something the Trojans have done again this fall with wins over Berthoud and Frederick.
At Erie, Tyler Hoffman has two hat tricks in three games. He scored his second in a 12-2 win over Pomona Monday.
3A starts with …
Matt Cassell’s team is back where it spent most of last season, sitting atop the classification.
3A’s No. 1 team opened its season with wins over Aurora West College Prep Academy and No. 10 Arrupe Jesuit. It goes on the road to face Fort Lupton Thursday.
Ethan Wang, meanwhile, has five goals in three games for Peak to Peak, which is 2-1. Prospect Ridge Academy, currently 1-0-1, faces 4A No. 2 Mullen Thursday.
And finishing with 2A …
Dawson beat Nederland 6-2 Tuesday behind two goals and two assists from Nathan Duckett.
Twin Peaks, which has a varsity team for the first time this season, won its first game in dramatic fashion. Trailing Addenbrooke Classical Academy 4-1 at the half Tuesday, the Timberwolves rallied to win 6-5 behind a hat trick from Yannis Diby.