PARKER | The Regis Jesuit girls lacrosse team came out of the lockerroom fired up for the second half of Monday night’s Class 5A semifinal against Valor Christian.
Coach Kathryn Ames’ Raiders had let the Eagles get out to a five-goal halftime lead largely because of a combination of nerves, miscues and misfortune, but charged back to get within two and had the will to complete the comeback.
Sixth-seeded Regis Jesuit wouldn’t score again for the last 11 minutes, 54 seconds, however, as second-seeded Valor Christian added a couple of more goals for insurance on their way to an 11-7 victory at EchoPark Stadium to prevail in a battle of programs both in search of making it to a state championship game for the first time.
“You get nerves in semis and early some of the jitters and mistakes came out, but I’m definitely proud of the fire and energy we had in that second half,” said Ames, whose team finished the season 8-5.
“Sometimes you work so hard to get back and then you can’t get it over the hump,” she added.
Valor Christian moved into the 5A state championship game Wednesday night at Legacy Stadium, where it will face undefeated and top-seeded Colorado Academy, which advanced with a 16-4 victory over No. 5 ThunderRidge. Regis Jesuit — which played in the semifinals for the first time since 2013 — fell to 0-3 in games with state final berths on the line.
In the semifinal, a 1-1 game after senior Krissy Rael had countered an opening-minute score by Valor Christian’s Reagan Digby turned into a three-goal deficit in a four-minute span that might have been more without big saves by Raiders’ junior goalie Brynne Dixon on Digby and Kaley Kacak of the Eagles.
Junior Elsa Pater had the other score of the opening half for Regis Jesuit, which turned the tables quickly in the second half on an early goal by sophomore Carly Kennedy that provided a spark.
Senior Cate Lord also scored and sophomore Emily Bradac tallied twice — the second on a free shot opportunity — that made it a two-goal game with 11:54 remaining.
A tough call went against the Raiders late when Rael drove to the goal and scored, only to have the goal nullified and the ball turned over as she was called for a charge.
Valor Christian milked the remaining five minutes off the clock without the ball passing midfield.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
(2) VALOR CHRISTIAN 11, (6) REGIS JESUIT 7
Score by halves:
Regis Jesuit 2 5 — 7
Valor Christian 7 4 — 11
Regis Jesuit goals: Emily Bradac 2, Charlotte Ford, Carly Kennedy, Cate Lord, Elsa Pater, Krissy Rael