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Boys lacrosse: Erie destroys Golden in Class 4A quarters

Jack Booth leads way with five goals

  • Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Erie junior Corby Tecu (33) and sophomore Ryan Burns (3) celebrate a goal by Tecu during a game against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo.

  • Erie junior Corby Tecu (33) scores against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie players’ equipment sits on the sidelines before a game against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie sophomore Ryan Burns pushes past a Golden defender on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Erie head coach Nick Mandia talks with the team before a game against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo.

  • Erie freshman Charlie O’Brien (12) celebrates a goal against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie senior Jack Booth (10) and Adam Bristow (7) celebrate a goal against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo.

  • Erie junior Corby Tecu (33) scores against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie junior Corby Tecu (33) hugs freshman Charlie O’Brien (12) after scoring against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie sophomore Colin Welters (24) defends a shot by Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie junior Max Warn (1) has a shot deflected by Golden sophomore Nick Campanelli (44) on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

  • Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer

    Erie senior Jack Booth (10) celebrates a goal with teammates during a game against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo.

  • Erie freshman Liam XConnors (22) scores against Golden on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Erie, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

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ERIE — Erie boys lacrosse entered the season with sky-high confidence and that self-assurance paid off during one of the Tigers’ toughest matchups of the season.

Any common bystander wouldn’t have known it was tough from the final score, though.

In real do-or-die fashion in the Class 4A state quarterfinal matchup against No. 5 Golden, the fourth-seeded Tigers got down and dirty to grind out a 17-5 statement victory over an equally talented team.

“It’s the best,” senior midfielder Jack Booth said. “It shows that we can hang with the best in the state.”

Throughout the first half, the Tigers and Demons engaged in a battle of defensive wills, and Erie just edged Golden out. Then the Tiger offense exploded.

After last week’s ending to the regular season, perspective was everything.

“Especially after the way the season ended (with a loss to Denver South), it was really important to all of us to make sure that we had really dialed practices, just making sure that we were focusing on all the little things and making adjustments from what we learned from that loss,” head coach Nick Mandia said. “We did so over the past seven days. We knew we were in a good spot coming into this game, and it’s always nice in life when things come to fruition.”

Booth led his team with a game-high five goals as junior midfielder Corby Tecu (four goals) and senior attacker Adam Bristow (three goals) followed his lead. Charlie O’Brien, Liam Connors, Jeff Stone Jr. and Ryan Burns also found the back of the net.

The Demons started out the game going hard on the attack as the Tigers struggled to play catch-up. Once Erie netted the early equalizer at 2-2 with two minutes left in the first quarter, the momentum shifted in their favor.

The Tiger offense went into overdrive over the next 11 minutes to build up a 5-2 lead, and their defense proved impenetrable throughout that time frame. After O’Brien scored goal number five for Erie, the Demons really started to panic. Golden’s offense began pushing the limits of what the Tiger defense was capable of, and they finally broke through with a goal from Chase Marini in the final two minutes of the half.

Erie led 5-3 at the midway point.

The opening minutes of the third began to tell a different story. That’s when the Tiger offense — led in large part by Tecu — drove the Demons past the point of no return.

“Everyone on the offense loves each other,” Booth said. “Nobody really wants to score. When we’re clicking like that, everyone gets to score, everyone gets a point; all that kind of stuff. It’s awesome.”

The Tigers, by contrast, will return for the semifinals against No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain at Englewood High School on Saturday. Cheyenne Mountain defeated the Tigers in a thrilling double-overtime finish in the first game of the season.

“I think we know a lot about their athleticism and their skill,” Mandia said. “I think as far as individual programs are concerned, we’ve both developed quite a bit since that first meeting, so there’s going to be new things on film — different philosophies and systems that both teams are going to be running. We certainly know what they have and how good they are, but we’re also really excited about this second chance because we kind of feel like we dropped that first one.”