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Stalter, Monarch heat up in the cold; beat Silver Creek – Colorado Hometown Weekly

Sophia Stalter, left, of Monarch, kicks the ball past Fatima Ordonez, of Silver Creek, during a cold soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

LONGMONT — Monarch senior Sophia Stalter had another superlative performance against Silver Creek on Friday afternoon.

For a second straight season, the Colorado Mesa commit found comfort against the Raptors and amid a wintery setting that forced most onlookers into layers of blankets and jackets.

A career-high four goals in an overtime win against Silver Creek a year ago, she matched that total in helping the postseason-hungry Coyotes bounce back from three shutout losses for a much-needed win, 8-1.

“I don’t know, this is the second time we’ve played them in the snow. It’s fun,” Stalter said afterward, as snowflakes stuck to her face and Christmas songs — courtesy of host Silver Creek’s sense of humor — played overhead. “It’s downpouring snow, you’re playing with your buddies. Super fun.”

As if it has been some long-standing tradition, Stalter again used the third Friday in April to end a scoring drought — for her and her team — and possibly springboard another postseason push.

Monarch (4-6-1) is currently 36th in the 5A CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index, which is used to decide the 32-team postseason field, starting in two weeks.

“We worked really, really hard this season and it just hasn’t worked out for us,” said Coyotes coach Katy Wood, whose team had been recently blanked by Legacy, Boulder, and less than 24 hours prior, Fairview. “Coming in here, we were super tired from our game against Fairview last night. To come here and get in the groove and feel each other out … we needed that so bad.”

Stalter enjoyed herself. Again.

April 19: Sophia Stalter, left, of Monarch, and Fatima Ordonez, of Silver Creek, battle for the ball during a cold soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2023.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
April 19: Sophia Stalter, left, of Monarch, and Fatima Ordonez, of Silver Creek, battle for the ball during a cold soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

 

Last spring against Silver Creek, the four-year starter emerged in front of a backdrop that looked like someone turned out the lights and shook a snow globe, scoring all of her team’s goals in a 4-3 overtime win.

Her face was thawed enough then to form a smile following her 89th-minute walk-off winner. One heck of a way to end the Coyotes’ scoreless streak of more than 260 minutes. And in hindsight, it proved season-defining as her team managed to grab the last seed in the 5A playoff field.

Now, after scoring for the first time in three games, she hopes it can lead to something similar.

“Coming off a few losses, with no one on the team scoring, I think it made us even more hungry for a win,” said Stalter, who now has 11 goals on the year. “Hopefully this will get us higher in the rankings.”

Stalter opened the scoring in the 16th minute, finishing off a feed from Cami Ayandele for the Coyotes, who will look to climb higher in the rankings with games against No. 5 Broomfield and No. 51 Northglenn next week. Her next three came after halftime.

Ayandele added two goals of her own, while Sania Gandbhir and Kiki MacQueen also scored in the win.

Emelie Carroll, left, of Silver Creek, and Cami Ayandele, of Monarch, have their eyes on the ball during the soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Emelie Carroll, left, of Silver Creek, and Cami Ayandele, of Monarch, have their eyes on the ball during the soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Silver Creek (4-4), meanwhile, dropped its second straight game after falling to 4A No. 12 Windsor 2-0 on Monday. Junior Erin Stockwell scored her team-leading eighth goal of the season in the loss.

The Raptors, like Monarch, are outside of the current playoff picture, ranked 41st in 4A. They, too, however, have time to make a push.

They host No. 8 Thompson Valley on Saturday at noon.

Emily Steiger, left, of Silver Creek, goes for the ball against Lucy Ruh, of Monarch, during a soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Emily Steiger, left, of Silver Creek, goes for the ball against Lucy Ruh, of Monarch, during a soccer game at Silver Creek High School on April 19, 2024.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

“The hard part for us — as a team, we kind of break down and we just keep breaking down, and it’s trying to find the confidence,” Silver Creek coach Rob Johnson said. “Hopefully tomorrow we can have a little bit more confidence. Come back, clean slate and hopefully not make those same mistakes and let one or two girls beat us.”

The end of the regular season in girls’ soccer is May 4.

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