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There is no question that Lakewood boys lacrosse in on the rise.
The Tigers, ranked No. 10 in last week’s CHSAANow.com Class 5A boys lacrosse poll, is off to their best start in the program’s six-year history. Lakewood defeated Eaglecrest 16-4 on March 23 at Trailblazer Stadium to improve to 4-0 on the season.
“It definitely feels good, but we just have to keep doing our thing and staying focused,” Lakewood junior Pierce Holley said of the Tigers’ undefeated start heading into spring break.
Holley and fellow junior attacker Evan Woods led the way for the hot Lakewood squad. Woods scored four goals in the opening eight minutes. Holley put a couple of goals in before the end of the first quarter off assists from Woods.
“He (Woods) definitely started us off,” Holley said. “Eaglecrest started sliding toward him, so that opened everything else up.”
Juniors Ethan Mauterer, Jacob Brunner and Holley added second-quarter goals. Junior Kegan Hufford scored twice in the closing minutes of the first half for the Tigers.
“We came out firing,” Woods said of Lakewood’s quick start that resulted in an 11-0 lead at halftime. “We didn’t want to take (Eaglecrest) for granted. We wanted to give them respect and go hard every play.”
Eaglecrest got on the scoreboard with a goal from senior Arthur Williams in the opening minute of the second half, but Holley scored twice on the third quarter and Woods put in his final goal before Lakewood coach Eric Seelbach went to his bench to finish the game in the fourth quarter.
Holley and Woods ended with five goals each in the victory.
“We are feeling really good about this year,” Seelbach said. “We are having success after some hard work. Certainly we’ve seen some tough times.”
Last season the Tigers finished above .500 for the first time in the program’s history with a 8-7 record. Victories over ThunderRidge, Legend, Smoky Hill and Eaglecrest has Lakewood already halfway to last year’s win total.
Brunner, Holley, Hufford and Woods give Lakewood a formidable scoring attack.
“I think our offense can play with just about anybody in the state,” Seelbach said. “At lot of the time it’s who is going to score the goal, not if we are going to score the goal.”
Lakewood heads to California to play a trio of games during Jeffco Public Schools’ spring break. The Tigers faced California teams — Westview, Pacific Ridge and Rancho Bernardo — that had a combined record of 16-1 as of March 22.
Seelbach was looking forward to seeing some stiff competition in San Diego. He believes it will be good for the Tigers, who have never qualified for the postseason.
“We are really pumped to see some great competition and play some fun games,” Woods said.
The Tigers begin play in the Class 5A Jeffco League on April 11 against Dakota Ridge (4-0). That game should be a good gauge of where Lakewood sits in the conference where No. 4 Columbine and Dakota Ridge are two of the clear favorites to contend for the league title.
“That’s a big one,” Woods said of the league opener against Dakota Ridge. “We went overtime with them last year. That (loss) really left a sour taste in our mouth. We are really pumped for that game. It should be a good one.”
Lakewood has never won more than two league games in any season since the start of its varsity program in 2013.
“I think we can play with anyone in Jeffco and anyone in the state,” Holley said. “That is the kind of confidence we have right now.”
Dennis Pleuss is a communication specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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