BOULDER — The vision behind the scenes and work put in from many people led up to Tuesday night, with Erie High School fielding the first-ever lacrosse program in school history and for the St. Vrain School District.
"It was culmination of a lot of work," Erie coach Nick Mandia said. "It was a lot of work on the kids' part, administration throughout the district and at Erie, and the parents that are involved. We've been waiting a long time for this day."
Erie made history by playing in its first-ever game — then the Tigers made it more memorable by shutting out the Boulder Panthers 13-0 to earn their first win.
"It feels really good," Erie's Jackson Keener said. "We've been working for a couple of months now, so we knew we were ready coming out. We came out and put a game together. It was great."
Keener got the Tigers on the board with the first two goals of the game, both coming in the first two minutes of the opening quarter.
"It felt great to get a couple goals on the board and get us going," Keener said.
Erie added to its lead periodically with three more goals in the first half. Five goals were scored in the third quarter and the team forced a running clock in the fourth, finishing with three more before the night was done.
Shot after shot came from Erie as they dominated time of possession, starting with a special performance in the faceoff circle by Tyler Gardner, who won every time versus Boulder.
"It's fun to let him go and do his thing," Mandia said of Gardner's faceoff wins. "He's practiced that art form. Tonight, he used four or five different moves."
The Tigers garnered more than 30 shots toward the net, largely because they did not turn the ball over at a high rate.
When Erie was forced to play defense, their back line proved the hype surrounding them. Led by Aidan Abram, who committed to the University of Denver lacrosse earlier this year, they never allowed Boulder to get many open chances in close to the net. Their stick play would lead to deflections and turnovers forced, and the shots Boulder did take were easily stopped by goalie Tim Beach.
Mandia, who said his defense would be the team's strength in the preseason, was happy with how they performed in their first game together.
"They are very skilled individuals, and outside of that, they are mature to work together," Mandia said. "The intensity they can bring as individuals just magnifies when they get on the field together. They play the same way and are leading each other and are talking well."
Another road game in Conifer on Friday is coming up for Erie before it will host its first home game versus Golden on March 20.
For Boulder, the loss sees them drop to 0-3 this season. It has been a tough start for the Panthers, who have been outscored 41-3 in their first three games.
Andrews Schreiner did have 12 saves in the cage for BHS.
"We're a really new, young team with a lot of new players," Boulder coach Nick Voigt said. "We don't have the same skill that we've had in the past, but what we do have is a workmanlike mentality. The result wasn't what we wanted, but I can't complain about our effort."
Voigt feels his team has played a tough schedule with games against Denver East and Lakewood before the Erie showdown. Despite stumbling out of the gates, he says their mentality is what will drive them to turn things around moving forward.
"We need to work hard and stay focused," Voigt said. "We know the guys are trying their hardest. If we stay focus on the that and the effort we're putting in, good things are going to happen."
Erie 13, Boulder 0
At Boulder High SchoolErie (1-0) 4 1 5 3 — 13
Goals — Erie: Jackson Kreener 3, Stone Keener 3, Adam Bristow 3, Corby Tecu 1, Cam Cramer 1, Taylor Kamigaki 1, Houston Irwin 1; Boulder: none.
Assists — Erie: Adam Bristow 2, Cam Cramer 1, Aiden Clough 1, Jackson Keener 1; Boulder: none.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Erie: Tim Beach (48-0-4); Boulder: Andrew Schreiner (48-13-12).