LAFAYETTE — The Dawson School boys lacrosse team never lost faith in its ability despite its less-than-sterling record through the first six games of the 2015 season.
The Dawson coaches and captains preached resilience and patience, knowing that the team’s talent and, just as importantly, the talent of the tough opposing teams it had faced.
Playing at home on Friday, the Dawson boys provided evidence that the team’s turnaround sprint to make the 4A state playoffs may be underway with a 23-4 win over Evergreen. In the four days since a 4A Foothills League conference-opening overtime loss to Windsor, Dawson has now won back-to-back games by a combined 34 goals.
“Now we’re on a two-win streak,” Dawson junior Jesse Rosenblatt said. “That comes from all the lessons we learned at the beginning of the season. We’ve been working on putting everything together and perfecting the little things and I think we showed that today.”
Dawson opened the season 2-4, with four losses against top-10 teams (No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain, No. 6 Battle Mountain and No. 7 Windsor) and Great Oak (10-8-1) from Temecula, Calif., including three overtime defeats. In total, Dawson’s four losses this season have come a by a difference of just six goals.
Despite the difficult start, Dawson (4-4, 2-1 Foothills League) remains the eighth-ranked 4A team in the state in the latest CHSAANow.com poll.
Dawson picked up its first conference victory with a 19-4 win over Green Mountain on Wednesday. Hosting Evergreen (4-5, 0-3 Foothills League) two days later, Dawson carried over its momentum from early in the week to climb back to the .500 mark. Dawson scored seven goals in each of the first two quarters and led 14-3 by the halftime break.
“Our defense was just playing great today and kept them at a safe distance,” Dawson junior goalkeeper Chad Dunnell said. “We’re starting to get in our groove. Our defense is talking a little bit more and the communication is better. We’re getting each other up rather than getting down on each other and this has been a great week.”
Dunnell, who exited after the first three quarters, made 11 saves and allowed just three goals on Friday. Senior captain Chase Brown led Dawson with five goals, Rosenblatt scored four, and freshman Gavyn Pure scored four more.
A total of 10 Dawson players scored a goal against Evergreen on Friday.
“The kids are just really hungry,” Dawson head coach Peter Devlin said. “We had some tough losses in the beginning but the past four days, it has felt really good to come out and play hard with our mistakes limited to only a few here and there. Our level of intensity is much higher than it has been all season and the kids are really excited about the things we’re doing right now.”
Dawson will play a non-conference rivalry game against Fairview (3-5, 1-2 5A Front Range League) on Monday in Boulder. Fairview defeated Dawson 9-5 last season.
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Dawson School 23, Evergreen 4
At Dawson School
Evergreen (4-5, 0-3) 1 2 0 1 — 4
Dawson School 7 7 4 5 — 23
Goals — Evergreen: Dylan Haga 2, Jeremiah Schutzius, Andrew Endsley; Dawson School: Chase Brown 5, Gavyn Pure 4, Jesse Rosenblatt 4, Zach Rinard 2, Wyatt Watts 2, Hunter Watts 2, Gray Hill, Jack Shams, Andrew Teta, Mac Zee.
Assists — Evergreen: Sterling Ellis 2; Dawson School: Chase Brown 4, Gavyn Pure 4, Jess Rosenblatt 3, Gray Hill 2, Zach Rinard, Wyatt Watts, Kyle Sudol.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Evergreen: Cayden Cecil (36-18-8), Thadd Yeatts (12-5-1); Dawson School: Chad Dunnell (36-3-11), Alex Timpe (12-1-5).