GREENWOOD VILLAGE — The nerves were there. After all, the Chatfield Lady Chargers were playing Cherry Creek, the defending girls lacrosse state champ and a perennial powerhouse. But once Chatfield got the momentum — and it did so early on by scoring the game’s first five goals — the realization set in that they not only could compete with the Lady Bruins, they might just be able to beat them.
That’s exactly what the Lady Chargers did March 21 at the Stutler Bowl.
Senior attacker Rachael Walker scored six goals, while fellow senior Shelby Piper and junior Kendra Lanuza each added a hat trick as fourth-ranked Chatfield led from start to finish in a 14-9 win over top-ranked Cherry Creek. Jen Lanuza and Alivia Roth added goals for the Lady Chargers (3-0).
“It means a lot to us. We were confident going into the game,” Chatfield head coach Adam Everett said. “It really came down to executing the game plan. The girls came through. The girls did exactly what they were supposed to. They deserve all the credit. They just did an outstanding job.”
Walker scored four of Chatfield’s first six goals, and the Lady Chargers built an 8-2 lead by late in the first half. Chatfield built its early lead thanks to controlling the draw.
“The draw control was essential. Summer Stafford was the one who was on the draw for most of the game,” Everett said. “It was a full team effort, you know, but Summer did an excellent job.”
That said, Cherry Creek (2-2), which lost to third-ranked Centaurus a day earlier, turned the tables on the Lady Chargers late in the first half and early in the second. Starting with Sarah Cromer’s goal to close the opening 25 minutes, Cherry Creek scored five straight times to pull within 8-7.
“Coming out hot and just getting goals off the bat was really important,” Walker said. “They came out really good in the second half. If we didn’t have that lead in the first half, I think it would’ve been a different game.”
But Chatfield did have that early advantage, and a timely timeout called by Everett reset the Lady Chargers, who scored back-to-back goals and six of the final eight tallies to pull away. Cherry Creek didn’t score again after Olivia List capped her hat trick with 6 minutes, 43 seconds remaining.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.