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Chargers pull away late from Arapahoe

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Chatfield scores 9 straight goals to stay unbeaten

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Rachael Walker was sitting in the penalty box, the result of a two-minute yellow card as Arapahoe scored back-to-back goals early in the second half to take a two-goal lead. It not only would be the fourth-ranked Lady Warriors’ largest cushion of the game, but it would end up being the last two goals they would score.
After a back-and-forth affair through the first 30 minutes, it was all Chatfield in the final 20 minutes as the second-ranked Lady Chargers scored nine unanswered goals to pull away for a 19-12 victory at Trailblazer Stadium on April 26.
“I think just getting the momentum after that is what brought us all together,” Walker said.
Kendra Lanuza finished with seven goals — five in the final 18 minutes, 43 seconds, while Walker scored five and Shelby Piper added four for Chatfield (14-0), which remains the lone undefeated team in the state heading into its April 29 regular-season finale against Columbine. Chatfield has already locked up the Jeffco League title. Results from that game weren’t available at press time.
Neither team led by more than two goals in the opening 30 minutes, but the momentum shifted once Walker got back on the playing surface, Lanuza said.
“We really just kept it together as a team. It started to become a team effort. When they started to pressure us out, we kept the assist going and the ball moving,” Lanuza said. “Their attack is really strong, so we knew controlling on our attack side and slowing it down is really important.”
It all started with Piper on the draw. Arapahoe (10-2), which took three one-goal leads thanks to tallies from Kate Englert and went ahead 12-10 on Riley Cooke’s goal, rarely got back on offense after that.
The single-digit victory was the first for Chatfield since a 14-9 win over Cherry Creek on March 21. It was just the third of the season for a Lady Chargers team that has been dominant. Chatfield had won seven straight with an average of 15.6 goals per game. So playing against a quality Top-10 foe such as Arapahoe was a good tune-up for the postseason.
“I think it was really important because we’ve been sliding by pretty easily,” Walker said. “Arapahoe’s a great team. We might see them again in the playoffs. It’s really important to play the tougher teams. We need the practice.”
Jen Lanuza, Brielle Rumsey and Alivia Roth also scored for Chatfield.
“I think it’s very important that we know what we can do on offense. We know a good offense is really kind of built on making smart decisions and making good tactical decisions with the ball and waiting for the shot to be there,” Chatfield Senior head coach Adam Everett said. “Rachael, Shelby and Kendra have all been outstanding this year. Going into the playoffs, what this does is give us confidence.”
As if Chatfield needed any more of that.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.