BOULDER — The Class 5A boys lacrosse playoffs are still very much in play for the Fairview Knights.
But even if that doesn't come to fruition, the youthful FHS team can fall back on knowing they swept the city series and are playing their best as a team at the tail end of the year.
Just three days after halting a three-game loss streak in the series against Monarch — coming back from a five-goal deficit to score a 12-11 win in overtime — the Knights kept the good times rolling with a sound 12-7 win over rival Boulder on Monday night at Recht Field.
It was the third straight win for the team, which had lost six of its first seven games to start the season but now boasts a 6-8 overall mark.
"The beginning of the season was really rough, and just no one was really dialed in, but once we got to the games against our rivals it's been totally different," said junior Jared Mizner, one of just a handful of upperclassmen on the FHS roster and who had two goals and three assists on Monday. "We've put things together, and I am really proud of it. It feels great to win."
"The energy has gone up, but so too has the march of just getting the newer guys in the program and younger guys in the program to learn to play together as a team," Fairview coach Matthew Kelley added. "They're starting to mesh together very well, and it's all positive. We're starting to rise to the occasion."
Plenty of work still needs to be done for the Knights (4-2 Front Range League), and a Friday victory against Boulder County's 4A representative, Dawson School, could mean big things.
But it was evident the momentum from beating the Coyotes for the first time since the 2014 campaign carried over to Boulder's senior night celebration game.
Fairview dominated possession for a majority of the first quarter, moved the ball well offensively and took advantage of a couple open lanes to forge a 6-0 lead just eight minutes in.
Massimo Ricci scored two of those first few goals, and one of those came off a missed pass connection between Ricci and a teammate through the middle of play that somehow found a hole past Boulder goalie Connor Thornton.
The lead was too much to overcome for Boulder (4-10, 1-5), though pride in finishing off the contest with some grit helped keep things interesting. Tim Dolan's second goal of the game at the 2 minute, 45 second mark of the third cut the score to 9-5 in favor of Fairview, and an early fourth quarter goal from Matt Gruber from Dolan made it 10-6.
Minzer and senior Jake Sheerin followed up for Fairview, though, keeping the Knights' lead in good standing.
"We knew we had to get ahead on them, and if we didn't it wasn't going to be our kind of game," Minzer said. "It was all effort, more than skill. I thought we moved the ball a lot faster than we have been, and it felt like we were running college-level plays."
Boulder finishes the season Wendesday at Englewood.
Fairview 12, Boulder 7
At Recht FieldFairview (6-8, 4-2)6213—12
Boulder (4-10, 1-5)1221—7
Goals — Fairview: Liam O'Brien 2, Tommy Miller, Massimo Ricci 2, Leo Felt, Dillon Tooman 2, Jared Mizner 2, Tucker Catlin, Jake Sheerin; Boulder: Matt Fete 2, Tim Dolan 2, Jack Roser, Matt Gruber 2.
Assists — Fairview: Massimo Ricci, Jared Mizner 3, Dillon Tooman, Tommy Miller, Liam O'Brien; Boulder: Tim Dolan 2.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Brooks Catlin (48-7-6); Boulder: Connor Thornton (48-12-7).