AURORA — The Mountain Vista boys lacrosse team has built its championship-caliber team on defense, as evidenced this year by having allowed but one team to score double-digit goals on them.
For Monarch and its head coach David Auday to be successful, facing the No. 2-seeded Golden Eagles in the quarterfinals as an 8 seed meant having some bit of luck as well as a great start to the game.
Neither came to fruition in a 15-9 loss which ended MoHi's playoff run and season at 14-3.
After scoring the first goal of the game, the Coyotes allowed a back-breaking run of seven straight Vista goals between the first and second periods of play, and the Eagles defense had them spinning their wheels on an uphill climb from there on out.
"When you're chasing a great team like that, it means trouble," Auday said. "When you continue to chase against an elite team, it's tiring. And every time we made the slightest mistake, they made us pay.
"They were ranked first or second the whole year, and that's what teams that good do. One or two mistakes, and 'Bam!' it costs you."
The Coyotes hadn't had to play from behind a lot this season, and especially not in their past six contests in which they out-scored opponents 95-33. Down 7-1 early in the second, sophomore Jackson Rose scored twice and Jared Hodell added a goal as Monarch and Mountain Vista (16-1) each scored three times in the frame.
At 9-4, Monarch had a chance to creep one goal closer with about 25 seconds left before halftime but the Coyotes came up empty. Mountain Vista made it 10-4 early in the third quarter to settle themselves down, and then at 10-6 with just about one minute to go in the frame the Golden Eagles scored another pair of clutch goals.
"We couldn't handle their big-on-little, so when they inverted they took advantage of those opportunities," Auday said of the size matchups the Eagles exploited. "We were on the precipice of being right there, and twice they scored with one second to go on the clock. Those are back-breakers.
"We fought hard and put up nine goals against a team that doesn't give up a lot, and with 14 wins on the year the kids really did a heck of a job again."
Mountain Vista 15, Monarch 9
At Legacy StadiumMonarch (14-3) 1 3 2 3 — 9
Mountain Vista (16-1) 6 3 3 3 — 15
Goals — Monarch: Jackson Rose 2, Andrew Zwiers 2, Chad Kreuzer 1, Jared Hodell 1, Brock Tausan 1, Ty Bradley 1, Ethan Mackender 1; Mountain Vista: Jake Harvey 5, Jake Govett 4, Colin Munro 3, Jake Frane 2, Ryan Nunes 1.
Assists — Monarch: Kreuzer 3, Zwiers 2, Hodell 1; Mountain Vista: Munro 2, Nunes 2, Evan Place 1, Frane 1, Harvey 1, Govett 1.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Monarch: Andrew Winans (48-15-4); Mountain Vista: Paxton Boyer (48-9-9).