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  • April 19, 2022: Cheyenne Mountain's Will ...

    Cheyenne Mountain's Will Weinstein, left, comes down with his stick on Dawson's Oliver Pritchard. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Cheyenne Mountain's Will ...

    Cheyenne Mountain's Will Weinstein, left, comes down with his stick on Dawson's Oliver Pritchard. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • Dawson's Holden Walker, left, and Cheyenne ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Dawson's Holden Walker, left, and Cheyenne Mountain's Stefan Dingbaum, battle for the ball. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Dawson's Owen Belt, ...

    Dawson's Owen Belt, left, gets checked by Cheyenne Mountain's Will Weinstein. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Dawson's Holden Walker, ...

    Dawson's Holden Walker, left, and Cheyenne Mountain's Stefan Dindbaum, battle for the ball. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Dawson's Holden Walker ...

    Dawson's Holden Walker takes a shot. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Cheyenne Mountain's Matthew ...

    Cheyenne Mountain's Matthew Kelleher, right, gets around Dawson's Jack Diamond. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Cheyenne Mountain's Hunter ...

    Cheyenne Mountain's Hunter Kolbezon, left, and Dawson's Leo Bellanca, chase down the ball. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

  • April 19, 2022: Dawson's Holden Walker, ...

    Dawson's Holden Walker, left, gets past Cheyenne Mountain's Fletcher Soteres. Cheyenne Mountain traveled to Lafayette to play Dawson in boys lacrosse on April 19, 2022.

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LAFAYETTE — Even with the incredibly strong season that Class 4A No. 6 ranked Dawson boys lacrosse has been able to put together, the Mustangs were no match for a perennial powerhouse when No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain came to play in their 17-7 loss to the Red-tailed Hawks on Tuesday afternoon.

The 7-2 Mustangs took their second loss of the season in stride, knowing that they were in a much different position in a 2021 season that ended with a 2-8 record. Now, the junior-heavy squad has a year of high school experience under their belts after COVID-19 canceled their freshman season altogether.

Their only other setback came at the hands of No. 3 Erie.

“Last year, we were basically first-year sophomores with the COVID year and we just came into this year with a lot more confidence and more hard work,” junior midfielder Holden Walker said. “We’ve got a bigger bench this year and we’re starting to put it together.”

That maturity appeared early in the game on Tuesday, as the Mustang defense managed to keep the Cheyenne Mountain offense mostly at bay through the first quarter while senior attacker Dylan Mastrogiovanni got his team on the board with nine seconds left. The Hawks led 3-1 through 12 minutes, but they began to break their offense open a bit more in the second frame as they took advantage of every Dawson passing blunder.

Throughout much of the season, freshman goalie Trace Anderson has acted as a mainstay for the Dawson defense. Despite the final score against CMHS, he still made a number of impressive saves to make sure the game didn’t get too out of hand. Walker backed him up on the other side of the field with a hat trick.

The junior and senior leadership has proven vital to Dawson’s success, and head coach Peter Devlin looks forward to seeing what his boys can do as the season progresses.

“(Anderson) is starting to see the ball more. He’s definitely mature for his age and we’re lucky to have him. He’s the leader of our defense,” Devlin said. “We’ve got an awesome nucleus of boys who just love working hard in the offseason and love being a part of the team. That becomes contagious so I think we’re seeing the fruits of their labor.”

Now, Dawson will turn its attention toward Resurrection Christian for its next home matchup on Thursday afternoon. Walker believes that after experiencing Cheyenne Mountain, his Mustangs will be ready for whatever the rest of the season may throw at them.

“We got two of our hardest games out of the way, two losses, but I think we can roll into the rest of the season without losing a game and we just got to keep beating these teams by a lot and getting our confidence back up,” he said. “Once we start rolling, I don’t think anybody can stop us.”

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