LAFAYETTE — Statistically speaking, the Monarch boys lacrosse team graduated nearly 70 percent of its scoring output at the end of last school year.
Losing a graduating class that includes the likes of Chad Kreuzer, two-time All-American and Colorado's all-time points leader, will typically leave a large void to be filled. Despite what they lost, the Coyotes have thus-far remained thrilled with what they have.
In front of a solid home crowd on Friday, the rebuilding Coyotes won 11-9 against Denver East to pick up their sixth win of the season. Having reached back-to-back Class 5A quarterfinals, the Coyotes don't appear to be starting their rebuild from the ground up.
"We came out really hard and we pushed them really tough," Coyotes senior Sammer Ziady said. "We let them back in it but I think we did a good job of coming together and holding them there at the end. We lost almost 80 percent of our starters from last season and for this being a rebuilding year, I think we're doing great."
Holding the visiting Angels (4-6) scoreless in the first quarter and paced by four goals from sophomore Travis Hitt, the Coyotes (6-2) led 8-3 at halftime. After pushing their lead to 11-5 at the end of the third quarter, the Coyotes could not find the net in the fourth quarter and the Angeles scored four unanswered goals in the final frame to mount a comeback that fell just short.
A bit rusty having not played since completing a 3-0 trip to Arizona, the Coyotes have won five straight games since getting their only losses on the season in back-to-back defeats at the hands of tough Columbine and Colorado Academy clubs, which are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the CHSAANow.com poll.
"We had about a 12-day break after a good spring break trip so I thought we came out and knocked some rust off with a scrimmage earlier in the week so we came out firing today," Coyotes senior Danny Kowalski said. "I think we got a little too comfortable with ourselves and let down a little bit. But once it came to crunch time and we realized we needed to finish it out, we kind of manned up against and got it done."
Though the Coyotes don't deny they have felt the loss from last season's graduating class, head coach David Auday said that he believed coming into the season that this year's group has the potential to be more balanced and deeper. In total, eight different Monarch players scored on Friday.
The Coyotes will begin Front Range League play on Monday when they host Boulder (3-5) at 4 p.m.
Monarch 11, Denver East 9
At Monarch H.S.Denver East (4-6) 0324—9Monarch (6-2) 4430—11
Goals — Denver East: Rahe 3, Hovey 2, Sally 2, Rosenberry, Bieman; Monarch: Hitt 4, Mueller, Ziady, Gifford, Tauson, Mayemura, Bradley, Hodell.
Assists — Denver East: Sally 2, Rosenberry, Shelanski, Johnson; Monarch: Gifford 4, Bradley 2, Tauson, Jolly, Haines, Mueller.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Denver East: Hunter (48-11-9); Monarch: Korac (48-9-8).