ARVADA- Speed thrills.
Into the wind or away from the wind, the ladies of Columbine lacrosse can flat out fly, which is more than enough to make you forget about the occasional awkward or errant pass.
“All the running we do in practice, that pays off,” senior attacker Adriana Adams said March 20 after the Rebels twice rallied to blow ahead – then hang on – for a 12-11 victory over rival Dakota Ridge.
Behind a jailbreak counterattack and two crucial saves late by goalie Chelsea Vinyard, the Rebels (3-1, 2-0 in Class 5A Jefferson County League) rode a four- and three-goal burst in the second half to victory at the North Area Athletic Complex.
“We brought it up a lot,” said Adams, who led Columbine with five goals and five assists.
Sophomore attacker Annie Larson bagged four goals for the Rebels and Amy Newman, Christen Neugebauer and Rachel Pagliarini scored one apiece as Columbine kept pace with league leaders Wheat Ridge and Golden.
The Rebels rallied from a 2-0 hole to pull ahead 3-2 in the first half before the Eagles (2-3, 2-2 Jeffco) came back to take a 6-4 lead three minutes into the second half.
Columbine regained the lead for good on Pagliarini’s goal in the 33rd minute and held on despite a furious finish by the Eagles.
“We always do that,” Larson said. “We start out kind of slow and, I don’t know, we pick up the intensity in like the middle of the game. It really helps out toward the end.
“Our second half is definitely our strongest.”
Dakota Ridge trailed 12-8 with 3:39 remaining but got two goals from Jenna Theige and another from senior Jenna Santistevan to ensure a tense finish.
Santistevan led the Eagles with four goals and two assists. Theige and senior Addi Piper bagged three apiece and freshman Marie McDonnell scored once.
“I think the game went in waves,” Eagles coach Chris Rozelle said. “You had a spell where we were real aggressive and a spell where the other team came back. I think you expect that in a rivalry game.”
After a disjointed start, the Rebels began to refine themselves late in the first half. That surge was punctuated by Larson’s goal 12 seconds before the break that cut Dakota Ridge’s lead to 5-4.
Santistevan ploughed through Columbine’s defense for a goal to make it 6-4 before the Rebels got hot.
Neugebauer lit the fuse with a goal and Adams tied it before setting up Pagliarini’s go-ahead goal.
Alex Dahlin passed the ball into the circle for Adams, who tried to lob a pass over her shoulder to Pagliarini. It worked it enough, as the junior scooped the ball and fired it past Eagles goalie Nicole Kenote.
Adams scored again to make it 8-6 in the 35th minute before the Eagles got a goal by McDonnell to stop the rush.
Columbine’s lead was down to 9-8 with 9:06 remaining before Adams sparked a three-goal run with a goal off a pass from junior Sonorah Vinyard.
Adams bagged her fifth goal (assist to Maddie Tedford) in the 45th minute and Larson scored the eventual game-winner in the 47th.
“They were quicker than we were with that first pass,” Rozelle said. “It’s something we need to work on. Our midfielders need to do a better job of playing a little back and intercepting that ball. But at the same time we have a lot of strong offensive midfielders.”