DENVER – The Colorado Academy girls lacrosse team has won the past four state championships in the sport, yet the last time the Mustangs didn’t win it all it was the Centaurus Warriors who knocked them out of the 2014 state tournament in the quarterfinals.
The Warriors are now the Fairview Knights and in the latest quarterfinals meeting between the two programs at Colorado Academy on Wednesday, the Knights didn’t have the same fortune as those Warriors did in 2014.
Taking on the four-time defending state champions at their house, the ninth-seeded Knights fell 18-4 to the undefeated and No. 1 seed Mustangs.
“I think it was a tough game for us,” Knights head coach Kelsey Sheridan said. “Our best players had a tough day and that was hard for us to rebound from. We just couldn’t win the draw so the momentum was always kind of going their way and that dug us a hole we just couldn’t get out of.”
The Knights (13-4) lost 15-9 to the Mustangs (17-0) on March 26 in a Metro League game during the regular season. The difference by which the Mustangs dominated the draw and midfield and how well they shot the ball led to a lopsided rematch, one where CA led 13-0 at halftime.
The Knights fell behind 5-0 in the first six minutes of the game on their way to that halftime deficit, which limited any chance of a comeback against a Mustangs squad that has allowed an average of 3.7 goals against and has now outscored its first two postseason opponents 37-4.
“Our goalie kind of stood on her head in that game and kept us in it,” Sheridan said. “And that first time we played them, we dominated the draw in the first half of the game, which really helped us. Everything just has to align for us to win that game.”
Fairview sophomore Isabella Bloomquist, who led the Knights with 54 goals this season, and senior Kolbi Dietmeier, who was second on the team with 28 goals, each scored a pair on Wednesday. Freshman goaltender Thayer Hubbard made eight saves.
Despite entering the season with a lot of moving parts including a new coach and a new school to call home base, the Knights went from 8-8 and losing in the first round of the playoffs last year to 13 wins and getting a playoff win. Sheridan and the Knights felt as though they had a lot to be proud of this spring.
“We have 10 seniors and the majority of them started and played every game,” Sheridan said. “I’m super proud of what they accomplished this year. They went from being a .500 team to being 13-4 and they beat teams they hadn’t beaten in their careers, so I’m super happy with what they did this season.”
Colorado Academy 18, Fairview 4
At Colorado Academy
Fairview (13-4) 0 4 – 4
Colorado Academy (17-0) 13 5 – 18
Goals — Fairview: Bloomquist 2, K. Dietmeier 2; Colorado Academy: Bakes 5, Merrifield 4, Greene 3, Murphy 2, Rollhaus, Kendall.
Assists — Colorado Academy: Murphy 2, Merrifield 2, Bakes.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Hubbard (50-18-8); Colorado Academy: Marks (50-4-3).