LAFAYETTE — The expectations are high for the Dawson boys lacrosse team.
A year after coming up a goal short in the semifinals to defending champion Aspen, the Mustangs entered 2016 ranked No. 1 in the state by CHSAANow.com and with the belief they belong there.
Bring on all comers.
Coach Peter Devlin's team, fresh off a two-game San Diego swing, returned home to the cold weather and put the winless Fairview Knights behind the eight-ball in the first half and rolled to a 13-6 win.
"That was the hope to come out hot and get up early and we did that," said Devlin, whose team improved to 3-1. "We didn't put a complete game together, but credit goes to them for having a good defensive game plan and shutting our players off and we struggled to move the ball a little bit."
In the first half, the Mustangs controlled possession, were quicker to ground balls and moved the ball efficiently enough to jump out to a 6-0 lead.
Senior attack Jesse Rosenblatt scored the first three goals of the game for Dawson, the first on a man-up advantage.
When the Knights did have possession in the first 12 minutes, they managed just four shots against Mustangs goalie Chad Dunnell. He was up to the task on every one of them, and he stopped the first six shots he saw before Fairview finally got on the scoreboard with a Nathan Bol goal with 48 seconds to go in the first half.
"It's tough to start like that, but they are great team and they have certainly proven it," said first year Knights coach Matthew Kelley, who spent the previous four seasons as Devlin's assistant. "I think Dawson's going to take it pretty far in 4A for sure."
After Fairview closed the gap to 8-3 early in the third, Dawson quickly ended any hopes of a miraculous comeback. Three goals in one minute, 19 seconds from Hunter Watts, Gavyn Pure and Wyatt Watts quickly made it a 11-3 game.
"It's a fun experience playing these guys, everybody on the field knows each other and I know almost all of their team from coaching them at some point in time," Devlin said. "It's fun to play against guys you know and against a cross-town rival that is still intact. It's a game that we look forward to every year."
Rosenblatt and Pure each had four goals for the Mustangs and both Hunter Watts and Wyatt Watts each had two.
Bol and Quinn Carrigan each had two goals for the Knights, who will travel to Aurora to try and get win No. 1 against Grandview on Saturday. Goalie Robbie Annear finished with 14 saves for Fairview.
Dawson School 13, Fairview 6
At Dawson SchoolFairview (0-4) 0 1 5 0 — 6
Dawson School (3-1) 4 3 5 1 — 13
Goals — Fairview: Nathan Bol 2, Quinn Carrigan 2, Ryland Squirrel, Roland Mollenberg; Dawson School: Jesse Rosenblatt 4, Gavyn Pure 4, Hunter Watts 2, Wyatt Watts 2, Kyle Sudol.
Assists — Fairview: Bo Hawkes 2, Bol, Carrigan; Dawson School: Rosenblatt 2, Pure 2, W. Watts.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Robbie Annear (48-13-14); Dawson School: Chad Dunnell (48-6-8).