Published: April 30, 2012
The goals came early and often for the Cheyenne Mountain girls’ lacrosse team Monday night.
Twelve different Indians found the net, and five seniors left their home field for the last time as winners in a 22-4 rout of Rampart. Cheyenne Mountain (10-4, 5-2 Southern League) won for the fifth time in six games, while Rampart (5-5, 3-3) fell for the third time in four outings.
Junior Morgan Burch led the way with five goals and two assist, with senior Sasha Hill adding four goals and two assists and sophomore Tarah Gilbreth scoring four goals. The victory solidified Cheyenne Mountain’s third-place spot in the league standing and should help improve the squad’s playoff seeding.
“I feel like I just started playing as a freshman, and now it’s senior night,” said an emotional Hill, a co-captain who will study biology at the University of Colorado beginning this fall. “We practice offense every day, and our team chemistry is amazing, and that just shows on the field.”
The Indians scored two goals in the first two minutes and led 5-0 before Rampart scored. Cheyenne Mountain used a high-pressure defense to overwhelm the Rams and an effective-passing offensive attack to build a 12-2 halftime lead.
The second half was more of the same, with the Indians scoring the first six goals. Cheyenne Mountain’s 22 goals were a season-high.
“We have a very diverse offense, and we really don’t look to one girl to run it,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Mary Serre said. “Everyone can score, and we definitely have some depth in our offense. That’s a strong thing for a team to have.”
The Indians’ defense clamped down on Rampart despite missing standout senior defender Tate Crosby, who missed her second consecutive game with a mild concussion. Serre said the Division I signee who will play at Princeton this fall has a doctor’s visit on Tuesday and is expected to be ready for the playoffs.
The close-knit Indians team has gelled well this season, and Serre feels good about her squad’s chances in the playoffs.
“The girls all work well together, and one thing we work on is being a tight family,” said Serre, whose team was winless a year ago. “They really get to know each other and are there for each other, and that’s really important for a team. We’ve got good momentum, the girls have positive attitudes and going into playoffs, it’s anyone’s game.”
Rams freshman Allie Popelar, the young team’s leading scorer, led the way with two second-half goals. Rampart was playing without five starters, and talented freshman Lexi Alford (17 goals) missed much of the game with an injured right ankle.
“Their defense was great, and we were missing five of our starters because of injuries,” Rampart coach Melissa Rausch said. “It’s tough to get an offense started when you’re basically without your offensive core.”
While the Rams have been eliminated from playoff contention, they can still become the first team in five years to finish with a record above .500. Rampart plays Palmer Ridge Tuesday and closes out its season Thursday against Palmer.
“(The chance to finish over .500) is a huge thing for us,” Rausch said. “Our typical starting lineup has three juniors, and all the rest are freshmen and sophomores. So, we’ll definitely be an up-and-coming program the next couple of years.”