Boys Lacrosse: Regis Jesuit comes up short against Cherry Creek in bid for 5A repeat

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Regis Jesuit's Truett Davis (11) walks away as Cherry Creek celebrates in the background on May 15, 2015, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Cherry Creek defeated Regis Jesuit 13-10 in the Class 5A state championship game. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)
Regis Jesuit’s Truett Davis (11) walks away as Cherry Creek celebrates in the background on May 15, 2015, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Cherry Creek defeated Regis Jesuit 13-10 in the Class 5A state championship game. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Last season, the Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team’s loss to Cherry Creek during the regular season provided the launching point for its run to the Class 5A state championship.

The Raiders’ regular season loss to the Bruins this season, however, turned out to be foreshadowing of what came to pass when the teams met again in the 5A state championship game on  May 16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

In similar fashion to its 8-4 victory over Regis Jesuit earlier, Cherry Creek set the tone early and rode it all the way to a 13-10 victory. It was the fourth straight championship game appearance for the Bruins, but the first win, and the Raiders certainly took note of their urgency.

“For those guys, they got a monkey off their back a little bit,” said Regis Jesuit coach Jim Soran, whose team beat Cherry Creek 14-7 in last year’s final after Arapahoe topped the Bruins in 2012 and 2013.

“Bryan Perry went through hell last offseason and he’s a class coach, so it’s nice to see him rewarded,” Soran added. “I’m proud of my guys for being here twice in a row.”

Looking for their first state lacrosse championship since 2006, Cherry Creek (19-1) came out with a determined look this time around. The Bruins got on the scoreboard first, scoring just 2 minutes, 21 seconds, into the contest.

By the end of the opening period, Cherry Creek had a 4-0 lead and all the momentum, especially with goalie Benton Adams turning away some fine scoring chances for Regis Jesuit’s potent offense.

“They definitely came out strong and we unfortunately couldn’t finish early,” Regis Jesuit senior Truett Davis said. “Their goalie had a heck of a game.”Down 7-2 at halftime, the Raiders regrouped in the lockerroom.

Regis Jesuit tallied the first three goals of the second half as Ben Bechter, Simon Quan and Matt Soran all found the back of the net to make it a 7-5 game early on.  The lead fluctuated, but remained two late in the third period when Soran scored again.

Regis Jesuit had a chance to make it a one-goal game with one period left, but yielded a crucial score with just nine seconds left in the period.==

“We are a team that likes to go on runs, so we wanted to come out of halftime on a run,” Regis Jesuit senior Matt Soran said. “We got spurts of that, but then we’d give them the ball and they’d go down and score…Hats off to them.”

Senior Chet Dunstan scored his team-high third goal of the game in the opening minute of the fourth period to make it a two-goal game again, but the Bruins answered 20 seconds later.

In the end, the Raiders found Cherry Creek’s deliberate, but effective offense, the Bruins’ aggressive defense and their unforced turnovers in crucial moments too much to overcome.

“When we had the ball, I think our offense clicked, but their offense possessed it so well,” Davis said. “They had so many weapons and they are great on defense, so it’s hard to beat a team like that.”

The Raiders now must move on without a group of players that includes 12 players who had committed or signed with Division I programs coming into the season.

As much as their playing ability, Soran believes the program will miss them off the field as well.

“This a great group of seniors, not just as lacrosse players, but as a group of wonderful kids,” he said. “They say the real test is what your kids will do in 20 years. I’m not worried about that with these guys. I just hope I can hang around to see it.”

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2015 CLASS 5A BOYS LACROSSE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

(1) CHERRY CREEK 13, (2) REGIS JESUIT 10

Score by quarters:

Regis Jesuit    0  2  6  2 — 10

Cherry Creek  4  3  4  2 — 13

SCORING

First quarter: Cherry Creek — Henry Adams, 9:39; Cherry Creek — Grey Soule, 8:49; Cherry Creek — Michael Morean, 4:59; Cherry Creek — Morean, 0:21

Second quarter: Regis Jesuit — Simon Quan, 10:58; Cherry Creek — Maxwell Tennant, 9:30; Regis Jesuit — Chase Konkel, 7:48; Cherry Creek — Tennant (Jacob Hallam), 4:31; Cherry Creek — Dylan Johnson, 0:02

Third quarter: Regis Jesuit — Ben Bechter, 11:02; Regis Jesuit — Quan, 10:37; Regis Jesuit — Matt Soran, 10:03; Cherry Creek — Zachary Grado, 8:47; Regis Jesuit — Truett Davis, 8:21; Cherry Creek — Tennant (Adams), 4:50; Cherry Creek — Broderick Vitalie, 4:47; Regis Jesuit — Chet Dunstan, 4:17; Regis Jesuit — Soran, 2:17; Cherry Creek — Tennant (Morean), 0:09

Fourth quarter: Regis Jesuit — Dunstan (Joe Jarman), 11:40; Cherry Creek — Asher Nolting, 11:20; Cherry Creek — Grado, 6:35; Regis Jesuit — Dunstan, 4:18