Evergreen cruises to first conference title

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 6/10/21

ARVADA — A quick early deficit didn’t rattle Evergreen’s boys lacrosse team Tuesday, June 1, at the North Area Athletic Complex. “If you get all worked up early you are going to get all …

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Evergreen cruises to first conference title

Posted

ARVADA — A quick early deficit didn’t rattle Evergreen’s boys lacrosse team Tuesday, June 1, at the North Area Athletic Complex.

“If you get all worked up early you are going to get all messed up,” Evergreen senior goalie Andrew Morris said of the Cougars reacting after the early goal by Green Mountain. “I know our defense is dependable and trustworthy.”

Green Mountain junior Beau Stratman scored for the No. 8-ranked Rams 36 seconds into the Class 4A top-10 match-up. However, it was all Evergreen after the opening goal. The No. 2 Cougars stayed undefeated in 4A Foothills League play with a 13-2 victory.

“The goal always has been to silence the noise and focus on us for 48 minutes to play great lacrosse,” Evergreen coach Jay Egger said. “We haven’t done that yet, but we are getting close. I love this group of 26 (players). It’s a special group.”

Evergreen (8-1, 6-0 in 4A Foothills League) had seven different players find the back of the net in the first half. Senior Jared Stiller and sophomore Sam Grimshaw led the way with a pair of goals each.

“We definitely don’t have to worry about having scorers out on the field,” Stiller said. “We’ve got them out there all the time.”

Senior Connor Dries keep the Cougars going in the second half with his second tally of the game to put Evergreen up 10-1. It was the Cougars’ 10th unanswered goal after the Rams (6-2, 3-1) took the early lead.

Evergreen eventually scored 12 unanswered goals. Green Mountain junior Anthony DiDonato ended the Cougars’ run when he scored with less than 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to make the score 12-2.

Grimshaw ended the scoring with his fourth goal of the night in the final minutes.

“It’s beautiful to see so many people shooting and having so many talented and skilled players,” Morris said. “It’s been wonderful growing up with this group.”

Morris and Evergreen’s defense was impressive in net keeping Green Mountain from scoring during the Cougars’ offensive run.

“Our defense is our pillar,” Egger said. “We count on them for so much. We need to learn not to depend on them so heavily, but we know when we get into hard positions we can count on them.”

There was no rest for Evergreen. The Cougars host rival Conifer at Evergreen High School on Wednesday, June 2. Evergreen dominated with a 15-0 win. The 4A Foothills League title was on the line when Evergreen squared off against No. 5 Golden (6-3, 4-1) on Friday, June 4, back at the NAAC.

“The energy right now is insane,” Morris said before Evergreen shut out Conifer and doubled-up Golden 8-4 to close out the week. “I’m so excited about tomorrow and Friday.”

It might be the biggest week of season ever for Evergreen’s boys lacrosse program as it attempts to make history.

“It’s never been done in Evergreen boys lacrosse to win a conference championship,” Egger said before the win over Golden clinched the league title. “We know it’s right there. We are trying to take it one step at a time and focus on taking care of us.”

Evergreen’s lone loss this season game against top-ranked Cheyenne Mountain back on May 24.

“We are really locked in right now, especially after the Cheyenne Mountain loss,” Stiller said. “We’ve really come together as a team and decided we wanted to finish off the season with a state championship. We aren’t going to stop for anything.”

Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco

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