Chatfield lacrosse trio sign on with D-I programs

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By Craig Harper
For the Courier
Want to know why Chatfield is the defending 5A Jeffco League girls lacrosse champion and prohibitive favorite to repeat in the spring? Look no further than the Nov. 13 national signing day, when three Lady Chargers finalized their commitments to Division I programs.
The trio of goalkeeper Emily McMinimee (Duquesne University), defender Allie Sale (American University) and attacker Rachel Walker (Oregon) — all set to be four-year starters for their senior season — signed their letters together, a fitting ceremony given their impact on the program.
The Lady Chargers were 5-10 the season before the three became freshmen, and since then Chatfield has gone 36-15 with three postseason appearances, capped by last season’s marks of 12-4 and 7-0. Others have contributed to the success, but, said coach Adam Everett, “They’ve definitely brought a lot to the program. They came in when it was four years old and injected a lot of life into it. It’s been really special to see them play.’’
McMinimee and Sale are heading east (Duquesne is in Pittsburgh, American is in Washington, D.C.) to schools they knew little about until they were contacted by them two summers ago. What they did know is some of the best lacrosse is played in that part of the nation.
“In Colorado we’re really lucky because we have a hot spot of lacrosse,’’ said Sale, who along with Walker were first-team all-Jeffco in 2013. “But if you really want to play, you go out east to play. That’s where the big lacrosse is and where all the competition is.’’
McMinimee will join a friend at Duquesne, Meredith Micho of ThunderRidge, who helped her learn about the school and its lacrosse program. “I really knew nothing about them,’’ McMinimee said. “But I wanted to be in the city, and I went and loved it. It’s a perfect fit.’’
Walker, Chatfield’s top scorer last season with 34 goals and 44 assists, had an opposite directional urge. “I always knew I wanted to go west,’’ she said.
Walker was discovered by Oregon coaches at a summer camp in northern California before her junior year and is eager to help the Ducks rebound from “a bit of a slump’’ last season when they went 8-9, one year after going 14-5 and winning the Pac-12 title with a 7-0 mark. “They have a real good sophomore class,’’ she said.