Englewood's bid to keep playing ended in the first round of the girls soccer state playoffs as Silver Creek bested the Pirates, 4-0.
“No competitive athlete wants to lose but only one team ends a game happy and that wasn't us today,” Pirates coach Chris Kavinsky said after the game. “The girls are feeling the pain of today's game but they need to focus on the fact they had one of the best seasons in Englewood High School girls soccer history.”
Englewood finished the season 13-1-1. The Pirates didn't give up a goal in the first 14 games.
“I couldn't be prouder of these girls,” the coach said. “I am sure the girls were nervous and had butterflies since no member of our team has ever been in state playoff competition. I feel that contributed to the way we played early as Silver Creek took control of the tempo of play in the first 10 minutes of the game. We responded and the game became fun but we still didn't get the win.”
Kavinsky said there are only three seniors on the roster and the playoff experience will be valuable as, with all the players expected to return, he feels the Pirates will be back in the playoffs next season.
“I am excited about next season,” the coach said. “Everyone bought into our season this year and I am sure that will be the case next year. We'll be a team with more experience and knowledge of what we need to do to be a state title contender.”
The Pirates traveled to Longmont for the May 7 playoff game.
Silver Creek used short, on-target passes to set up the attacks and defensively used a physical style of play and speed to cut off the passing lanes to make it hard for the Pirates to get good shots at the goal.
The Raptors scored five minutes into the game on a breakaway by Jenna Schenmiel, who wound up scoring three of Silver Creek's four goals.
Englewood regrouped, pushed the attack and came close to tying the score when Sydney Gonzales' direct kick hit the far post of the goal and bounded away.
The Pirates again pushed the attack to open the second half. Raptor goalie Jamie Kirkland made a diving save to keep Elijah Daughtry's low shot out of the net. Kadie Kavinsky drilled a hard shot at the goal that sailed wide of the outside of the net. Later, Gonzalez had another direct kick that appeared headed for the upper corner only to hit the crossbar and bounce over the goal.
Silver Creek got a goal on a penalty kick and scored again on a shot that caromed off a defender into the net. They went on to win the game, 4-0.
“Our girls played well and I feel the game was closer than the score indicates,” the coach said. “We had our chances but just weren't able to find the net with our shots. Our defense also played a heck of a game. They turned aside attacks and Miranda (Holman) in goal was amazing. She made several outstanding saves and helped us keep the game close.”
Silver Creek took 25 shots on goal and Holman was credited with 11 saves.
The disappointment, sometimes accompanied by tears, showed in the faces of the Pirate players as they left the field after the game.
“I hate to see this season end. It has been a lot of fun,” senior Kadie Kavinsky said after the game. “We didn't win today but, like the coach told us, we have a place in Englewood High School girls soccer history. We are the first Pirate team from the new building to go to state and the first team from the new building to win a league championship. The league championship banner will be on display in the field house and the plaque will be in the trophy case. Those things are pretty special.”
After the game, freshman Jena Korinek talked about being in the state playoffs.
“Today was very special. It was exciting to be in the playoffs,” she said after the game. “Silver Creek is a very good team. It was a tough game. Their strength was their teamwork, their accurate passing and they got more confident as the game went on.”
She said she learned from the playoffs that a winning formula is working together as a team and not letting the fact it is a playoff game or the fact the other team is one goal ahead get into your head.
“I am proud of our team and I am proud of our season,” she said. “My favorite memory is being a member of this team. It was exciting and fun to play with this team. The seniors and juniors accepted new players like me and made us feel a part of the family that is Englewood High School girls soccer.”