AURORA — It’s difficult to tell which has been coming quicker for the Centaurus girls lacrosse team.
Wins or season-ending injuries.
The surging Warriors, ranked No. 4 in the CHSAANow.com poll, had one more of each Friday night in a 14-11 road triumph at Regis Jesuit. Their third straight victory came at a price, as defender Molly Stoner endured a first-half knee injury that likely will shelve her for the season.
She joins offensive standouts Katherine Burns and Sage Ali (both out for the season with post-concussion symptoms) and defender Elisabeth Wallace (out indefinitely with an Achilles injury) on the infirmary report.
“It’s tough because they’re huge impact players on our team,” said Warriors senior Sarah Myres, who scored five goals and added two assists. “But we have freshmen coming in and stepping up who are going to be great players.”
The long injury report doesn’t mean the Warriors (10-4) are bereft of talent, as Myres alluded to. Myres and fellow longtime standout Andrea Kim ratcheted up the offensive attack, particularly early in the second half.
That’s when the Warriors scored five goals in the opening 3 minutes, 32 seconds to extend a one-goal halftime advantage to 11-5.
“Every half we like to kind of hit the reset button,” Kim said. “Even though we had a great half, we like to think of it as zero-zero so we come out just as hard as the first half. I think that’s what really helped the momentum.”
Kim and Audrey Brown scored three goals apiece for the Warriors while emerging threats Madison Hamilton and Skye Bradley combined for three goals and four assists. Centaurus’ ball movement at the outset of the second half was a thing of beauty under the lights at Lou Kellogg Stadium.
Myres scored three goals in the flurry and Brown and Hamilton added one apiece.
“It was definitely the key to the game,” Centaurus coach Bob Kline said. “I think we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half. We hit the pipe three times and had just tons of bad shots. We said that if we came out in the second half and took a little more time, we could finish this game off or at least get it going in the right direction.”
Mission accomplished in that regard. The Warriors’ lead ballooned to 14-7 before Regis scored the final four goals to make the final score a bit more aesthetic for the home team.
Centaurus will turn around and play at Kent Denver (Saturday, 3 p.m.) in the regular-season finale. It’s a big one for playoff seeding, with the winner clinching third place in a rugged Metro League that houses three of the state’s top five teams.
“That is absolutely a huge game,” Kim said. “Not only is there a bit of a tense rivalry from the past few postseason games and what’s happened in the past, but they’re also a very respectable team. If we win it’s huge for playoff seeding and also for pride.”
Momentum-wise, the Warriors would much rather enter the postseason on the heels of four straight wins than an emotional loss.
“We need to come out, play hard and make a statement for playoff seeding,” Myres said.
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Centaurus 14, Regis Jesuit 11
At Lou Kellogg Stadium
Centaurus (10-4) 6 8 — 14
Regis Jesuit (7-8) 5 6 — 11
Goals — Centaurus: Sarah Myres 5, Andrea Kim 3, Audrey Brown 3, Madison Hamilton 2, Skye Bradley 1; Regis Jesuit: Mathison Davis 3, Kathleen Roe 3, McKenzie Reifsnider 2, Brook Dibiase 2, Claire Stemper 1.
Assists — Centaurus: Myres 2, Hamilton 2, Bradley 2; Regis Jesuit: Reifsnider 1, Dibiase 1, Roe 1, Maya Fair 1.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Centaurus: Morgan Pittser (50-11-10); Regis Jesuit: Kate McDonald (50-14-11).