DENVER | Looking back, the Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team’s lone loss of the season helped produce its biggest victory at the end.
The Raiders had their undefeated season interrupted by a decisive loss to Cherry Creek in the home stretch of the regular season, which was reflected in seeding for the Class 5A state playoffs as the Bruins went in seeded No. 1 with the Raiders at No. 2.
Coach Jim Soran’s team learned plenty from the reality check Cherry Creek provided on that night and the end result when the teams squared off again in Saturday’s 5A state championship game at Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High was almost 180 degrees different.
Regis Jesuit (18-1) turned into the aggressor this time and used a six-goal second period to gain enough cushion in a 14-7 victory over the Bruins (15-4)
“We lost to Creek horribly the first time, so I’m glad we could get them back and do it in the state championship game,” senior defender Will Deines said.
“I think we were ill-prepared the first time we played them, but this game we were motivated and we wanted it. I knew we were going to play our best game.”
Regis Jesuit won its first state championship since 2011, while dealing Cherry Creek its third consecutive loss in the 5A final.
The Raiders contributions came from everywhere.
Junior Matt Soran registered his second five-goal performance of the playoffs to pace the offense, while junior Chet Dunstan scored four times and senior Aaron Horvat and junior Ben Bechter (3 assists) tallied twice.
In the nets, junior goalkeeper Brett Quartuccio made 19 saves on 26 shots for the Raiders, while Deines and his backliners helped hold explosive Cherry Creek to lowest goal total of the season.
“That’s probably the best game they played all year and that’s when you want them to play it,” said Jim Soran, who was drenched with water by his team in the celebration.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2014 CLASS 5A BOYS LACROSSE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
(2) REGIS JESUIT 14, (1) CHERRY CREEK 7
Score by quarters:
Regis Jesuit 3 6 3 2 — 14
Cherry Creek 2 2 1 2 — 7
Regis Jesuit goals: Matt Soran 5, Chet Dunstan 4, Ben Bechter 2, Aaron Horvat 2, Alec Barnes; Regis Jesuit assists: Bechter 3, Horvat, Soran; Regis Jesuit saves: Brett Quartuccio (26 shots on goal-19 saves)