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  • Dawson School's Dawson Santangelo reacts to Mountain Vista scoring a...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Dawson School's Dawson Santangelo reacts to Mountain Vista scoring a goal on Wednesday in Lafayette. Go to for more photos

  • Dawson's Asher Walker moves the ball in front of Mountain...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Dawson's Asher Walker moves the ball in front of Mountain Vista's Griffin Bonjean on Wednesday in Lafayette.

  • Dawson's Jack Shams, right, covers Mountain Vista's Chris Perella on...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Dawson's Jack Shams, right, covers Mountain Vista's Chris Perella on Wednesday in Lafayette.



LAFAYETTE — As a senior on the Dawson School boys lacrosse team, Jack Shams has earned the right to speak the way he did while addressing his teammates following the Mustangs’ first loss of the season on Wednesday night.

The 12-6 setback to Class 5A’s Mountain Vista, for all intents and purposes a loss that will put the team on a better path when things are said and done, still wasn’t treated any differently than any other loss the team has suffered over the past few years.

Trust us when we say there haven’t been many losses for the 4A Mustangs.

“We don’t find ourselves down a lot, and when we do it just seems we’re not handling that adversity too great,” Shams said after the Mustangs fell to 6-1 with the non-league defeat against the tough Golden Eagles. “When adversity comes, you have to embrace it. That’s what separates the good teams from the great teams, so when that adversity comes we need to all come together and take a breath rather than separate.

“We want to play these types of teams, because in the past we’ve rolled through our regular season. This is good for us, I think tomorrow the switch is going to flip.”

Shams saw both ends of things on Wednesday, as the Mustangs struggled offensively for the first time this season while also appearing lackadaisical at times defensively — especially early as the Eagles went on a six-goal scoring streak between the second and third quarters that proved to be the difference.

Dawson was much more organized in the fourth quarter, showing the energy and life expected of them for a full 48 minutes every time out, but a pair of late goals for the Eagles helped cushion their fifth win of the season and left the Mustangs picking up the pieces.

“It’s so good for us to play against some of the best 5A teams in Colorado … it exposes some weaknesses, and for sure we had some mistakes today,” Dawson head coach Peter Devlin said, his team held to just a goal in each of the first three quarters of play. “More than that, the pace of the game was just faster than what we have been used to up to this point. We have the opportunity to be down and fight back, and we did that in the fourth quarter.”

Mountain Vista represented one of Dawson’s biggest tests so far, and easily their toughest opponent in-state. A quarterfinalist in the big-school tournament last year, the Golden Eagles presented size, speed, and a lot of depth. Meanwhile, in starting out 6-0, the Mustangs had picked apart Jefferson Academy, Denver North and George Washington by double-digit margins.

The Golden Eagles established their presence within the first 42 seconds of the game as Joe Courington dodged his way to the goal and put Vista up 1-0. The Golden Eagles possessed, and possessed some more, and at the 6:45 mark of the first made it 2-0 with a Griffin Bonjean goal.

It was just 3-1 early in the second quarter when Gavyn Pure, who finished with two goals and an assist, scored on a 1-on-1 power move to get the Mustangs back to within a goal, but Mountain Vista powered its way to a 9-2 lead over the next 12 minutes of action.

Landon Nolta was big for Mountain Vista in the face-off circle winning 16 of 20 draws, and the Mustangs also saw themselves make some unforced passing errors in the middle of the field that took away valuable possessions.

“When you make a defensive stop, you have to be able to get the ball out of the (midfield) to the shorties and let them go to work,” Shams said. “We didn’t do that. We didn’t move the ball up the field a lot of times, and those keep you from winning games.”

Shams scored the first goal of the fourth quarter to make it 10-4, and Dawson did make things interesting by adding two more to make it 10-6 with 7:25 still to play. But Bonjean found Cam Hancock for a lengthy shot and score with 4:39 to go to put Dawson back on its heels again.

Hunter Watts, Jackson Keener and Asher Walker also scored for Dawson, who will play at Boulder on Saturday.

Adam Dunivan: or

Mountain Vista 12, Dawson School 6

At Dawson School

Mountain Vista (5-2) 3 3 4 2 — 12

Dawson School (6-1) 1 1 1 3 — 6

Goals — Mountain Vista: Govett 3, Bonjean 3, Courington 2, Srdoc 2, Hancock, McFarlane; Dawson School: Gavyn Pure 2, Jack Shams, Jackson Keener, Asher Walker, Hunter Watts.

Assists — Mountain Vista: Courington 2, Hancock, Brooks, Bonjean, McFarlane, Kambietz; Dawson School: Pure.

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mountain Vista: Hirshorn (48-6-; Dawson School: Dawson Santangelo (48-12-10).

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