BOULDER — Cami Johnson scooped up a ground ball off of a Cherry Creek save, lobbed it behind her back and sent it straight into the back of the net to give Class 5A No. 4 Fairview girls lacrosse a two-goal edge midway through the first half Thursday afternoon.
That eye-popping score, one of four for the junior attacker, ignited a fire within the Knights’ offense that eventually gave way to a 15-9 victory over the third-ranked Bruins at the FHS turf field. The win proved much sweeter than just defeating another top 5A program.
“We are (East League) conference champions after winning that game and I think that was something in the back of our heads, that we really wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do (that) this year,” head coach Kelsey Sheridan said. “We have a really strong conference, so it was definitely a goal of ours before the season. We’re super happy that we were able to accomplish that.”
From start to finish, the Knights put together a complete game offensively and defensively as eight girls got on the board and the defense made its goalies’ jobs relatively easy. Sophomore goalie Anne Booth — who was ranked second in the state with a .712 save percentage — made six saves in all as senior goalie Thayer Hubbard added three more.
The opening few minutes for the 11-2 Knights proved to be the perfect metaphor for their season at large, as they fell behind 2-0 within the first four minutes of play. Junior middy Allie Hartman ended Fairview’s brief scoring drought 18 seconds later, and Johnson followed her lead with a hat trick throughout the next seven minutes.
The Knights employed a rapid-fire offense throughout much of the rest of the first half and led by as much as six goals, 9-3, with 3:48 left until the midway break. That early lead proved vital when, in a defense-heavy second half, the Bruins tried to force their way back into contention.
Fairview wasn’t about to let that happen. They scouted the Bruins well enough to keep them at arm’s length.
“They run people off so we really wanted to push fast breaks, push slow breaks, keep it a high-paced game and make the most of our opportunities on attack,” Sheridan said. “They have some really strong scorers so we focused on our matchup and really making sure we control them.”
Much like the Cherry Creek matchup, the Knights began their 2022 charge toward the postseason down 0-2 after dropping a couple of close contests to No. 1 Colorado Academy and No. 2 Valor Christian. Since then, however, they’ve been on a tear, winning 11 straight and putting up double-digit scores against every opponent.
They’ll now look to keep their momentum white-hot as they start to close out the regular season with a Tuesday night matchup at Denver East. Johnson believes her Knights are still on the rise. If that’s the case, Colorado lacrosse better watch out.
“We’re feeling good. We’re feeling excited,” she said. “We want to just keep working hard. We haven’t peaked yet, so we just want to keep going up. I think we’re getting there. We’re still working on our discipline.”