DENVER — It’s easy to notice the likes of Kendra Lanuza, Shelby Piper and Rachael Walker when talking about catalysts for Chatfield Lady Chargers’ girls lacrosse team. After all, they’ve combined to score 101 goals already this season. But Chatfield’s defense has more than held its own as well.
“The defense has been one of the highlights of the season for this team. We’ve really come together,” Chatfield Senior head coach Adam Everett said. “We’ve kept the same girls together for two years in a row, and that counts for a lot.”
Leading that charge is senior goaltender Emily McMinimee. A wall in the back of the defense, McMinimee made nine saves in third-ranked Chatfield’s 16-5 win over 10th-ranked Mullen on April 11 at Brother Bernard Kinneavy de Lasalle Stadium.
Outside of a 26-16 shootout win over Chaparral six days earlier, the Lady Chargers (8-0) have been stout defensively, allowing just 11 goals combined in four of their past five games. McMinimee has been the beneficiary of Chatfield’s defensive play, but she’s quick to note that her success wouldn’t be what it is without the leadership of senior defenders Allie Sale and Savannah Mellberg.
“We just have great defenders. Allie and Savannah really help run it. We just work together as a group really well. We have a lot of experience,” McMinimee said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be as good.”
Neither would Chatfield if not for their offensive stars, who, once again, sparked an offensive flurry. Lanuza scored a game-high seven goals, while Piper and Walker added four each. Walker also had three assists. Brielle Rumsey scored Chatfield’s other goal.
The confident Lady Chargers, who led 7-3 at halftime and forced a running clock after Lanuza’s seventh goal with 4 minutes, 4 seconds remaining, played with poise and patience throughout.
“We’ve been working on decision-making and taking the shots as they come and not forcing anything. I think in the second half we really locked it down,” Everett said.
Susanna Konkel led Mullen (3-3) with two goals.
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.