GREENWOOD VILLAGE | With packed stands on both sides waiting to explode and the pressure mounting minute by minute Thursday night at Stutler Bowl, Cate Lord finally brought about a cacophonous ending.
The Regis Jesuit senior’s goal in a 7-on-7 situation just 38 seconds into double overtime lifted the fourth-seeded Raiders to a 2-1 victory over second-seeded Cherry Creek and secured the program’s second state championship in the past three seasons.
The goal also unleashed a torrent of Regis Jesuit fans who jubilantly celebrated the victory in the middle of the field, while an even larger contingent of Bruins backs watched. Coach Spencer Wagner’s team finished the season 9-1 overall with the only loss coming to Cherry Creek (10-2) early in the season.
“That was so awesome, it was just the coolest feeling in the world,” said Lord, who had been stymied the rest of the game despite using her speed to create several near-miss chances for herself or teammates.
“We practiced a 7-on-7 a few days before just in case it got to that, so we were so ready to do it,” she added. “We had really good connections going down the field, which really works to our advantage.”
Junior Lily Castiglione put Regis Jesuit on the scoreboard first with her third goal of the postseason when she poked in a loose ball at the end of a play set up by a penalty corner chance. That lead held up until the third period, when the Bruins were awarded a penalty stroke when Raiders sophomore goalie MaryKate Berg lay on top of the ball after making a save right in front of the goal.
Berg played Ella Pratt’s shot well, but it snuck past her to tie the game at 1-1, where it would remain through the final quarter and a full 10-minute overtime period.
Regis Jesuit got possession first in the second overtime period and needed less than a minute to take advantage of it. Off a restart after a foul, junior Ellie Johnson worked her way around two defenders and put the ball out in front, where Lord lifted it into the back of the Cherry Creek goal.
The Raiders won their second state championship, while denying the Bruins their third.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
(4) REGIS JESUIT 2, (2) CHERRY CREEK 1 (2OT)
Score by quarters:
Regis Jesuit 1 0 0 0 0 1 — 2
Cherry Creek 0 0 1 0 0 0 — 1
Regis Jesuit — Lily