LOUISVILLE — For the Monarch boys lacrosse team, its season opener against Cherry Creek was to be a good indication of whether the squad is ready to make a splash in this year’s state playoffs.
At times, it looked as if the Coyotes were more than capable of hanging with the Bruins. And at other times, it was clear that they have some work to do if they wish to be legitimate contenders in the 2012 season.
Cherry Creek defeated Monarch 11-7 on the Coyotes’ home turf on a chilly March Thursday night. With players like midfielder Hunter Thompson, who led his team with three goals, and attacker Kendall Williams leading the charge, the Bruins displayed a consistent offensive attack that proved too much to handle for the Coyotes.
“When you play a team that has that much firepower on offense, you can’t let them beat you in transition,” Monarch head coach David Auday said. “I’m bitterly disappointed, because if we do a few things different then we win that game.”
Things started well enough for Monarch, as it trailed only 3-2 at the end of the first quarter. However, Cherry Creek suddenly caught fire and scored five straight unanswered goals. By the end of the third quarter, the Coyotes trailed 8-4 and were in serious trouble heading into the fourth.
To their credit, the Coyotes didn’t give up and cut the deficit to 9-6. Monarch midfielder Nathan Puldy led the team with three goals to help give Monarch a pulse, only to watch as Cherry Creek took them off life-support with two late goals by Thompson and Williams.
“We made little mistakes here and there and that hurt us,” Puldy said. “They got in our heads and tried to make us think that we couldn’t play with them, but we know we can take it to them as long as we believe in ourselves and believe in each other.”
Auday shares his player’s optimism and emphatically stated that while he was proud that the Coyotes played hard, he wasn’t pleased that they wound up on the losing end of the contest.
“In retrospect, when I look back on this game I’ll probably feel a lot better than I do now,” Auday said. “We didn’t come in saying we just wanted to hang in there against Cherry Creek. No sir, we wanted to beat them.”
The Coyotes have a chance to get back on track Saturday when they take on Rock Canyon.
Cherry Creek 11, Monarch 7
At Monarch H.S.
Cherry Creek (1-0, 0-0) 3 3 2 3 — 11
Monarch (0-1, 0-0) 2 1 1 3 — 7
Goals (assists) — Cherry Creek: First Period: Halle (Unassisted), Thompson (Bolling), Williams (Unassisted). Second Period: Thompson (Smith), White (Unassisted). Third Period: Smith (Unassisted), Lewis (Williams), Cohen (Mazer). Fourth Period: Bolling (Unassisted), Thompson (Lewis), Williams (Lewis); Monarch: First Period: Gilland (Puldy), Gilland (Unassisted). Second Period: Puldy (Meehan). Third Period: Puldy (Unassisted). Fourth Period: Doner (Unassisted), Puldy (Unassisted), Appenzeller (Unassisted).
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Cherry Creek: Arthur (48-7-6). Monarch: Malaty (48-11-7).