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Eagles win, but Lobos slowly improve

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By Joe Vaccarelli

LAKEWOOD — In the final game of the regular season, both Dakota Ridge and Conifer finished in way in which they can both be proud.

The Eagles got the girls lacrosse win, 15-6, on May 8 at Trailblazer Stadium to finish above .500 for the season, while an improved Lobos team hung tough for a half before giving way.

The game was fairly even in the first half as the Lobos stayed within striking distance, but a Marie McDonnell goal with 7.4 seconds left in the half gave the Eagles (8-7 overall, 4-5 5A JeffCo) a three-goal lead heading into intermission.

From there the rout was on in the second half as Dakota Ridge outscored Conifer 8-2. The Eagles were led by freshman Samantha Sherman, who scored all four of her goals in the final 25 minutes. Dakota Ridge also got two-goal performances from Keri Kopchik and Amy Franks, while senior Ashley Behabetz turned in a hat trick in her final game.

Goalkeeper Kristen Espinoza made six saves.

“I think that our girls played amazing. They really stepped it up this year. I think that next year we’re gonna have an even better team, and we’re really excited about the season,” assistant coach Charli Covington said.”

For the Lobos (3-11, 1-7) they can look back on the season and see the improvements made under first-year head coach Sonorah Vinyard.

“We definitely improved a lot, and it’s just been so great to watch as everybody improved. It’s just been great because we started out not really as a team but we finished as a really strong team,” junior Michaela Rillings said.

Rillings was one of five Lobos to score a goal. Amanda Hisel scored twice.

Vinyard was also quick to point out the progress of the team during the season, but pointed out what it still needs to work on.

“They’ve definitely gotten a lot better. I think we’re still learning to how to play together as a team and progress and just play the way we play,” Vinyard said.