Before Air Academy's girls' lacrosse game against Colorado Academy, Kadets coach Sean Harmon asked his players for a quick start.
He got that and a whole lot more. Libby Miller scored 29 seconds in and No. 2 Air Academy blasted No. 15 Colorado Academy 22-6 to advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
The defending state champions didn't let up. By the time the clock showed 20 minutes left in the first half Saturday, host Air Academy (14-1) was already up 5-0. Less than 7 minutes later, the head referee signaled a running clock. The Kadets were up 10-0.
'It's a really important part of our game to get us going and shut them down mentally, ' said Libby Miller, who finished with three goals.
Colorado Academy (10-7) had no answer for the Kadets' offense and no answer for the Kadets on faceoffs, regardless of who took the draws for Air Academy. Whether it was Kaley Holmes, Natalie Berg or Jessica Berg, the Kadets won the majority of them and transitioned them into goals.
'Whenever you win a draw it gives you a lot of momentum for the offense and it gets everyone pumped, ' said Maddie Jahelka, who scored four times and was one of seven Kadets with multiple goals.
The domination in possession left the Mustangs playing catch-up throughout, both on the scoreboard and on the field.
'This game is all about possession, ' Jahelka said. 'Just capitalize on every possession you have and take advantage of everything that you can. '
Colorado Academy did manage a goal in the first half. It cut the lead to 16-1.
'That's what we do, that's Air Academy girls' lacrosse, ' Harmon said. 'We come out, we push, push, push. We go full bore right from the start. '
With so many players proving threats to score, the Kadets look poised for another title run.
'Everybody can put the ball in the net, and that's what's exciting, ' Harmon said. 'If the other team wants to think about keying on anybody, I don't think it would faze us one bit, because every game so far, either somebody else has stepped up or we've had complete balance across the seven people in the zone. '
No. 7 Chaparral will be the next team to try and slow down that vaunted Air Academy attack. The teams meet in the quarterfinals Wednesday at Air Academy.