BHS-FHS soccer rivalry provides valuable lessons
In rivalries, there are always lessons to be learned. It`s no different when it comes to the Fairview Knights vs. Boulder Panthers in boys` soccer.
Take last year. The Panthers won 1-0 to stay undefeated and on top of the Front Range League standings. Meanwhile, the loss dropped the Knights into a spiral and they lost four-of-five conference games.
Fairview, however, got the last laugh as they advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state playoffs — a round further than Boulder, which lost 1-0 to Green Mountain in the second round.
“We would like to go as far as we deserve to go in the playoffs,” Panthers coach Hardy Kalisher said. “But one lesson we learned last year is not how strong you start, but how you finish.”
Knights coach Stan Jozwiak countered with, “I`m sure for us, it was going further in the playoffs. That`s where everyone wants to be in November. I`d much rather be playing in November.”
The education of rivalries extends to Fairview as well.
When the No. 5 Knights (3-0-2, 1-0 Front Range League) square off against the No. 9 Panthers (5-1, 2-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Recht Field, they would like to head into the game with a little momentum.
Last year, Fairview lost to the Monarch Coyotes two days before the cross-town showdown. This time around, Jozwiak would like to see his club beat Monarch at 5:30 p.m. today because he thinks a win could give them a mental edge.
“We were in the same situation last year when we lost both to Boulder and Monarch,” Jozwiak said. “We`re going to use this situation to learn how much we`ve grown from last year. A win before that game would be good confidence for bothteams.”
Over at Monarch (2-3, 0-1), first-year head coach Dave Stansbury is well aware of the situation, but he`s not treating it as if history will repeat itself.
“We haven`t been treating it like they are going to look past us,” Stansbury said. “We`re working really hard because they are a great team. I doubt, seriously, they will look past us.”
Boulder will be on the road to face league foe Legacy on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Panthers, too, have a specific goal in mind before facing Fairview.
“A loss on Thursday is no different than a loss on Tuesday in the Front Range League standings,” Kalisher said. “What we want is to win two games this week.”
The X-factor in this year`s matchup might be Spencer Sarson, Boulder`s senior forward. Sarson has scored six goals this season, which leads the conference. He scored the lone goal in last year`s match as well.
Kalisher, however, said Fairview can keep tabs on Sarson all they want, especially since his team has scored a conference-high 29 goals.
“If anyone wants to queue in on him, that`s fine,” Kalisher said. “We got 10 other players who can fill in. Fairview has some good players too, so we won`t be queuing up on any of their players either.”
The Knights are led offensively by brothers Darragh and Shane O`Neill. Darragh O`Neill has three goals this year.