LAKEWOOD — Columbine’s girls lacrosse team had a couple of reasons to be excited May 8.
Having dispatched of No. 10 Chaparral 19-11 in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament, the seventh-seeded Rebels not only advanced to the quarterfinals, they also kept their perfect record in tact at 16-0.
“Columbine’s never been past the first round before,” said sophomore Maddie Tedford, who scored three goals with an assist against Chaparral. “We were pretty fired up coming into the game.”
The margin of victory was crucial for the Rebels, who were granted the weekend off by their coach, Alise Steiner, who had set a four-goal margin as the team’s benchmark entering the game.
With the weekend theirs, the Columbine girls weren’t sure what they were going to do with the free time. But, they were jovial about the prospects of avenging a loss from a year ago.
In the quarterfinals the Rebels will take on No. 2 Air Academy, the team that eliminated the Rebels from the postseason last year in the opening round. Game time is set for 5 p.m. May 13 at Air Academy. Whatever the outcome, the loser will be doubly stung as both teams enter the game with unblemished records.
“Having the chance to play (Air Academy) again is something we’re looking forward to,” Tedford said. “We want to try and get some revenge.”
Tedford and the rest of the Columbine midfielders and attackers had little trouble weaving their way through the Wolverines defense. The Rebels often scored with little resistance, thanks in part to a noticeable speed advantage that left Chaparral defenders in the dust.
“We have an extremely fast team and we’re fortunate to have that,” Tedford said. “Pretty much any girl that gets the ball could run it in if she wanted to.”
Sonorah Vinyard, one of just four seniors on a very young Columbine squad, led the team in scoring with five goals and two assists. Kacey Keogh scored three goals and Lauren Snow had two goals with an assist in what was a very balanced Rebels scoring attack. Freshman keeper Jenna Hofmann finished with 10 saves for the Rebels.
“The girls believe in themselves and have great team chemistry,” Steiner said.