LAKEWOOD — Julia Lisella recognized what a tough team Ralston Valley is, so the Columbine girls lacrosse goaltender was doing, as she said, her best to contend with the Lady Mustangs. Boy, did she ever.
The 5-foot-9 sophomore made 23 saves, and Columbine was never seriously challenged in a 9-4 victory over host Ralston Valley on April 11 at Trailblazer Stadium. Taylor Campman, Emma Von Feldt and Maggie Burns combined to score eight of the Lady Rebels’ nine goals.
Lisella, a second-year starter, was a stalwart in net, and she’s only going to get better, Columbine head coach Shannon Weakland said.
“She’s amazing. I can’t wait to see what she’s like in her senior year,” Weakland said.
The win keeps Columbine (7-2, 3-0 Jeffco League) undefeated atop the league standings alongside rival Chatfield. Those teams square off in the regular-season finale on April 30.
To think the Lady Rebels’ defensively didn’t play as well as Weakland has seen them play this season just shows how scary good they are and can be. That’s not to say that they didn’t play pretty well against the Lady Mustangs. They did with the likes of Kiki Tucker, Mackenzie Burns and Kayla Donohue leading that charge. Lisella was quick to note the play of the defenders in front of her.
“I give props to my defense. They worked hard like that in practice all the time,” Lisella said. “They helped to set up the shot angle for me and helped me to make the saves.”
Robin Thomas capped the scoring for Columbine midway through the second half before Ralston Valley’s Marin Felsoci scored back-to-back goals to close the game out.
“I just think it’s all a team effort,” said Campman, who scored all of her game-high four goals in the first half. “Some days the defense is off, and (then sometimes) it’s the offense. We just have to cope with each other and help each other out.”
There was plenty of helping out in this one.
When Lisella wasn’t stopping point-blank shots, Columbine’s offense was preserving the lead. The Lady Rebels scored the game’s first six goals and never trailed en route to its fourth straight victory.
Ralston Valley (4-4, 2-1), which got first-half goals from Kristen Luthy and Carly Lichty, had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.