Unbeaten Rebels continue to roll

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By Brian Forbes

LAKEWOOD — The Columbine girls lacrosse team played April 9 as if they had something very important planned later in the evening.

Perhaps it was homework, a good television show or maybe the Rebels just wanted to get out of the cold air at Trailblazer Stadium, but they made short work of rival Dakota Ridge.

“It was awesome. For sure,” Rebels junior Annie Larson said.

Totally awesome.

Sonorah Vinyard scored five goals, Christen Neugebauer and Paige Amme scored four apiece and Larson and Olivia Leyshock had a team-high three assists each as the Rebels cruised to a 21-2 victory.

The Rebels scored in the opening 41 seconds, went up 5-0 inside five minutes and initiated the running clock with 7:25 left in the first half when Vinyard scored to make it 10-0.

The Rebels were sharp with their passes and scooping up ground balls and attacked with a variety of players and methods to overwhelm the Eagles. Columbine was efficient on it free-ball opportunities, transitioned quickly out of the defensive end and passed well in the offensive zone, especially from behind the net.

“We finally have come up with some different strategies as far as like clear, we’ve really worked on our stick skills,” Rebels coach Alise Steiner said. “I have a lot of my girls running cross country, so we’ve got the speed. We push that every season.”

While the Rebels scored on their first six shots and had 13 goals on 14 shots by halftime, freshman goalie Jenna Hofmann seemed destined to shut the Eagles out. Hofmann stopped shots by Jenna Theige, Stefani Okazaki and Lexie Chavez before Theige finally found the net on a coast-to-coast run where she strode past defender Kelly Kershisnik and scored 73 seconds before halftime.

“I feel lucky to have her,” Steiner said of Hofmann.

Chavez scored Dakota Ridge’s other goal. The Eagles struggled to maintain possession, put shots on goal and break down Columbine’s organized defense.

Vinyard added two assists, as did Kacey Keogh, who also scored a goal for the Rebels. Larson and Maddie Tedford added two goals each. Lauren Snow, Rachel Maccan and Maggie Ahrendsen also scored for Columbine.

“We’ve gotten l00 percent better than last year,” Larson said. “We’re grown so much and now we’re 9-0, so that’s really exciting.”