DENVER | The Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team was due to come through in the clutch and it did so in thrilling fashion Wednesday at Kent Denver.
The Raiders dropped one-goal contests to Valor Christian and Cherry Creek a few weeks earlier, but wouldn’t be turned away
Senior attackman Jake Taylor — who took two blows to the helmet that result in penalties on the Sun Devils — scored from point blank range on a pinpoint pass from senior Reed Babcock and the Regis Jesuit defense prevented a final chance for a 10-9 victory in a rematch of last season’s Class 5A state championship game.
“Coming out there and finishing that last one, I can’t really explain it,” said Taylor, who matched teammate Jack Ringhofer for team-high honors with three goals.
“It’s a great feeling and I’m glad we were able to finish that out,” added Taylor, noting that the earlier close losses helped prepare the Raiders for crunch time.
Coach Jim Soran’s Regis Jesuit team, which sat 3-4 at one point of the season, won its sixth straight game and improved to 10-4 heading into a Friday road contest against top-ranked Arapahoe to close out the regular season.
“We had a couple of games where we didn’t come through, so this was nice,” Soran said. “We’ve learned that you never give up and little plays end up giving you the big opportunities. You can really point to groundballs and hustle plays and its nicer to do that in a win than a loss.”
The Raiders didn’t give up despite trailing the Sun Devils (11-3) with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Ringhofer scored from a tough angle to cut the deficit in half and Kassal tied it up when his shot hit Kent Denver goalie Benjamin Shapiro before trickling over the goal line.
With Regis Jesuit in possession inside of the last two minutes, Taylor took two separate shots to the head that result in flags and gave the Raiders a brief two-man advantage. They made it pay off when Babcock whipped a pass in front to an open Taylor, who finished over Shapiro’s stick into the net.
The Sun Devils won the ensuing face off, but the Regis Jesuit defense didn’t allow them to get a shot on goalie Phillip Wildes, who finished with 10 saves.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
REGIS JESUIT 10, KENT DENVER 9
Score by periods:
Regis Jesuit 2 2 3 3 — 10
Kent Denver 1 3 3 2 — 9
Regis Jesuit goals: Jack Ringhofer 3, Jake Taylor 3, Joe Kassal 2, Max Rizzi, Matt Van Dusen. Kent Denver goals: Brandon Bergner 3, Michael Bowler 2, Josh Melvin 2, Dylan Wells 2. Regis Jesuit assists: Reed Babcock 3, Will Pater 2, Kassal, Ringhofer, Taylor. Kent Denver assists: Charlie Bragg, Max Hewitt, Melvin. Regis Jesuit saves: Phillip Wildes (19 shots on goal-10 saves). Kent Denver saves: Benjamin Shapiro (16 shots on goal-10 saves)