Rebels still finding their way

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A slow start spells doom for Columbine against Cherry Creek

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — Alex Befus is in her first season coaching the Columbine Lady Rebels’ lacrosse program, and the learning curve has been a steep one. But Columbine is still plugging away, just like it did against fifth-ranked Cherry Creek on April 12 at Trailblazer Stadium.
Though the Lady Bruins got three goals each from Blair Sisk and Sarah Cromer en route to a one-sided 17-3 victory, the loss may have done Columbine some good. Playing against a team, such as Cherry Creek, provided the Lady Rebels with an outlook of how a perennial playoff team uses stick work, handles game speed and runs through passes — the fundamentals — of how to work.
“It’s been an up-and-down season,” said Befus, who graduated from Air Academy and the University of Denver. “We came in with really high expectations. I don’t think the girls were prepared for it. We need more work, more work ethic in the players.”
While the Lady Rebels struggled offensively just controlling the ball, their defense was challenged by Cherry Creek’s attack. The Lady Bruins (5-4) went ahead 7-0 in the game’s opening 16 minutes, 54 seconds before Mackenzie Burns finally got Columbine (3-6) on the board with 6:23 left in the first half.
“We’ve started games very slow,” Befus said. “It’s a trend we’re trying to break. Against Golden, we scored six unanswered goals and ended up winning in that one. Unfortunately here you can’t let a team like that get ahead like that so quickly.”
The second half wasn’t much better as Columbine found itself down 14-1 before Lyndsie Pratt squibbed back-to-back goals onto the net 2 minutes apart to get the Lady Rebels within 14-3 before Cherry Creek closed out the game with three consecutive goals.
“We just wanted to come out stronger in the second half. We knew that we could do much better,” Pratt said. “We weren’t coming out expecting to blow them out of the water, but we wanted to do our best and come back a little bit.”
And Columbine did, albeit briefly.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.