LOUISVILLE — For whatever reason, the Monarch boys lacrosse team lost sight of what got it off to a 6-1 start to the 2014 season.
But with rival Boulder coming to visit on Monday, the Coyotes made sure they got it back. As they’d hoped, getting back to their best game earned the Coyotes a 15-6 win over the visiting Panthers.
“We were coming off a couple rough losses and this was a big game so we weren’t taking them lightly,” Coyotes junior attacker Jack Atteridg said. “It’s a county rivalry so everyone gets up for Boulder. We have three games left and after this win, if we can keep playing the way we played today we should have a good chance of making the playoffs.”
Before the win, the Coyotes had lost three of their last four games, including a 9-8 defeat at the hands of Fossil Ridge on Saturday.
On Monday, Atteridg led the Coyotes with four goals and two assists, pushing his season totals to 25 and 18, respectively.
Coyotes sophomore Andrew Zwiers had three goals and four assists, and seniors Troy Naudin and William Simonson each scored twice. Coyotes head coach David Auday, who could be heard yelling “beautiful” and “that’s Coyote lacrosse” throughout the game, said the way the Coyotes (8-4, 3-3 Front Range League) moved the ball around and defended was fun to watch.
“It was one of those games where everyone played well, starting with out defense,” Auday said. “I thought our mentality was just to attack on offense and defense and score in transition. The guys played hard and we got back to fundamentals. It was just two weeks ago that we were 6-1 and we hit a rough patch. But we have a lot of talent and I believe in our team and the men that are on it.”
Auday said the Coyotes have been bitten by falling behind in recent games and were determined to take the lead early on Monday. So when the Panthers won the opening face off and took the ball straight down the field to score, he was not happy.
But the Coyotes retook the lead and were ahead 4-2 at the end of the first quarter. Holding the Panthers scoreless in the second quarter, the Coyotes led comfortably 9-2 by halftime.
“We talked about it and I was like, ‘Really?'” Auday said. “But one is OK, especially in a game like this, and the next thing you know, we were at 6-2. I didn’t feel like it was going to be more of the same and we were going to be chasing the whole game.”
The Panthers (2-7, 0-3 Front Range League) started in zone. The Coyotes scored early and often against it, forcing a switch to man-to-man defense.
First-year Panthers head coach Collin Knowles said his team played six good minutes. Those were the first six minutes. But he added that sophomore Connor Fox, who led the Panthers with three goals, played his best game of the season despite the loss.
“In the battle between the boxed, which is ground balls and hustle plays, we struggled,” Knowles said. “Their goalie played well. They outworked us and our transition defense wasn’t up to par. Connor Fox really stepped up and was shooting the ball with confidence. They just created more opportunities than we did.”
The Panthers will face Lakewood on Friday. The Coyotes will play Columbine on Monday.
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Monarch 15, Boulder 6
At Monarch H.S.
Boulder (2-7, 0-3) 2 0 2 2 — 6
Monarch (8-4, 3-3) 4 5 2 4 — 15
Goals — Boulder: Fox 3, Donovan, Brode, Jamison; Monarch: Atteridg 4, Kreuzer, Zwiers, Naudin 2, Simonson 2, Terry, Waddle.
Assists — Boulder: Jacobs 2; Monarch: Kreuzer 4, Zwiers 4, Atteridg 2, Davis 2, Bubernak.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Boulder: Jonny Coletta (48-15-9); Monarch: Connor Johnson (48-6-10).