BOULDER — There is no such thing as moral victories, but judging by how the Boulder boys lacrosse players and coaches left Recht Field on Friday night against Columbine, it may be time to reassess.
The Panthers, fresh off their first victory of the season earlier this week, nearly nabbed their second against a top 10 foe.
Boulder was tied 5-5 going to the final 12 minutes, and was outscored 4-1 in the fourth and lost a 9-6 Front Range League game to the Rebels.
“We had three good quarters and the fourth quarter we just didn’t execute. We had a few turnovers turnovers late and that didn’t help us,” first year Boulder head coach Collin Knowles said. “But we were in the game right down to the last whistle and the kids fought.
“Moral victories are tough, but last year we lost to these guys 20-6, so we are taking a step in the right direction.”
After falling behind 4-1 early, the Panthers defense stiffened up in front of goalie Jonny Coletta, and didn’t allow the Rebels to score for over 27 minutes of game time from the first quarter to the end of the third.
“I didn’t see one person not give it their all on the field tonight,” said Coletta, who finished with 12 saves. “That was the best we’ve played all year. That was a full 180 for our team. Even though we lost, I can honestly hold my head high and say we played our best.”
In the meantime the Panthers offense was sparked by the return of Brandon Jacobs from a back injury. The senior midfielder, who accounted for over 30 goals last season, seemed to give a lift to his teammates.
Jacobs showed no signs of the injury and took two hard fouls in front of the Columbine cage that resulted in man-advantages. He and Zach Brode combined to score the next four goals, and Boulder took a 5-4 lead early in the third quarter.
“It was amazing to have (Jacobs) back, he is a great player,” said Brode, who came out and spoke for the offense after Jacobs was hurting after the game. “It’s just nice to have another senior leader out there.”
After Boulder took the lead, Columbine would answer with a 5-0 run from the end of the third until late in the fourth. Rebels attackman Anthony SanFilippo scored two of his game-high three goals in that stretch. Tyler Goodwin also scored three times for Columbine.
“We still had the intensity, they just started to bring it hard and (SanFillippo) had some really big shots,” Coletta said. “We held them to the best of our ability, we got four men down and still held them. I was very impressed by both teams. It was a hell of a game.”
Boulder (1-6, 1-2) will get back at it on Monday against Legend in Parker.
Follow Jon on Twitter: twitter.com/JonEYunt
Columbine 9, Boulder 6
Columbine (7-3, 5-0) 4 0 1 4 — 9
Boulder (1-6, 1-2) 1 2 2 1 — 6
Goals — Columbine: Tyler Goodwin 3, Anthony SanFilippo 3, Landon Kramer, Jake Allen, Dominic SanFilippo; Boulder: Brandon Jacobs 3, Zach Brode 2, Boe Gold.
Assists — Columbine: Goodwin, A. SanFilippo, Nick Stasch, Kramer, Justin Gonzales; Boulder: Ben Jacobson.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Columbine: Brevin Fields (48-6-9); Boulder: Jonny Coletta (48-9-12).