LOUISVILLE — The Monarch boys lacrosse team has been scoring plenty of goals this season but since the Coyotes hit Front Range League play, their defense has turned things up a notch or two.
In their first two conference games of the spring, both wins, the Coyotes (9-1, 2-0) have allowed just three goals. All three of those goals were scored during a 10-3 win over Rocky Mountain (5-5, 1-1) at Monarch High on Friday, which followed a 22-0 road victory over Prairie View on Tuesday.
That's music to Monarch goaltender Eli Korac's ears.
"The defense has just been fantastic this year," Korac said. "I can't give enough credit to those poles. They give me great looks and the shots I want to see. And when we do give up a goal, we keep a clear head and we talk about it, and we fix it."
Korac was forced to make only four saves on Friday. That didn't stop him from leaving his stamp on the game's outcome.
Early in the first quarter, Korac took the ball coast-to-coast and when his approach went unchallenged he decided to rip a shot. His first career goal put the Coyotes up 2-0 and sparked a 5-1 first quarter and an eventual 7-1 halftime lead for Monarch.
"I'd rather have kept my shaft," Korac joked, lamenting the fact that he broke his stick on the shot. "When I shot, I shot with two pieces of stick but it was my opportunity and I had to take it. I've shot before but I would have passed it off if they had come up on me. That was my first goal ever. Me getting to score just shows how much we don't care about the individual and how much we care about the team. That's been our attitude all year."
After allowing a first-quarter goal during their early flurry, which was all Monarch needed to hold on for the win, the Coyotes didn't allow a second goal until just 4 minutes, 57 seconds remained in the game. The Lobos were averaging 7.2 goals per game prior to Friday.
The Coyotes entered Friday's game fourth in the Class 5A RPI standings and ranked ninth in the CHSAANow.com poll. They're in a great spot despite losing would-be senior attackers Griphen Jolly and Travis Hitt, who combined for 33 percent of the Coyotes' offense in 2018, to the new program at Mountain Range per state rules. With Friday's win, which was the Coyotes' ninth straight since a season-opening loss to No. 1-ranked Cherry Creek, they tied their win total from last season with five regular-season games left to play.
"You know what, we're deep at long pole and we still have a starter out," Coyotes head coach David Auday said. "We knew coming into the season that our poles and our defensive middies were the strength of this program. It showed today. Then if you combine that with how our first middies and our four attack men are playing, that's why we're having a pretty good year."
Junior Ben Riecken (19 goals, 11 assists) leads the Coyotes with 30 points.
The Coyotes will host Boulder (1-9, 0-2) on Monday.
Monarch 10, Rocky Mountain 3
At Monarch H.S.Rocky Mountain 1 0 0 2 — 3
Goals — Rocky Mountain: Santini, Bowerfind, Kosonocky; Monarch: Laughlin 3, Wimer 2, Tausan, Torres, Mayemura, Frey, Korac.
Assists — Rocky Mountain: Isom; Monarch: Torres 2, Wimer 2, Mueller, Tausan, Brazanskas.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Rocky Mountain: Hammers (48-10-7); Monarch: Korac (28-3-4).