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Chargers brave elements, topple Lobos

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Late first half run fuels Chatfield

By Dan Johnson

LAKEWOOD — The Chatfield girls lacrosse team put forth a performance April 16 that would’ve made a postman grin.

Despite bitter cold temperatures and a downpour of rain that intensified deeper into the contest, the Chargers made sure to make all of their deliveries.

Against a gritty Conifer team that battled for most of the first half, Chatfield blew a close game opening, scoring 11 unanswered goals, leading to an eventual 20-10 victory at Trailblazer Stadium.

When the final buzzer sounded, the two teams quickly ran through the postgame handshake, darted off into their respective locker rooms and hurried into their already idling buses, which were waiting to drive them back to their respective schools before the brunt of April storm hit.

Chatfield did its part to run Conifer off the turf.

After goals by Paige Robertson and Kelly Vaggalis drew the Lobos within 9-7 with 2 minutes, 41 seconds to play in the opening half, Chatfield ended the first half with five straight goals. Ashley Sanders, whose screen allowed Hailey Atteberry to score a goal, netted two goals in the run and also handed out an assist. She finished the game with five goals and two assists.

After Sanders’ fourth goal put Chatfield up 13-7, Mandy Brown, who finished with a team-high six goals, scored with 22 seconds remaining in the half, pushing Chatfield’s advantage to 14-7 at the break.

In the second half, Chatfield continued to push the pace and found the sailing smooth between Conifer defenders, who were often left flat-footed by the speed of the Chargers’ attackers. Chatfield ripped off six straight goals to open the half, the final tally coming off the stick of Katie Larson with an assist to Brown. Larson’s goal put Chatfield up 19-7.

While the Chargers’ speed in the midfield and attack positions certainly made a difference, the same can be said for their face off game. Chelsea O’Brien was highly effective in the face-off circle, which allowed the Chargers to maintain possession and increase their lead. The goaltending of Savannah Everett was also solid, as she stopped 12 shots – 7 in the second half.

Early on, Conifer was an effective counter puncher. They allowed the Chargers to build some early confidence, only to answer right back with a few goals of its own to make a game of it again. Vaggalis proved too much for the Chatfield defense, routinely dancing around defenders on the way to the net. Vaggalis, who finished with four goals, scored on a nice wraparound shot to draw the Lobos within 9-6, and when Robertson netted a goal a minute later, it appeared Conifer would be in the game for the long haul.

Then Chatfield exploded, and the Lobos were unable to get up off the canvas.