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Cougars get best of rival

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By Lauren Gaddie-Johnson

LAKEWOOD — Sometimes it’s the ones you expect the least from that turn out to be the big go-getters.

Just like the Little Engine That Could, the Conifer boys lacrosse team showed Evergreen what they were capable of April 26 at Trailblazer Stadium. Even though Conifer took an 11-3 Class 5A Foothills League loss, the Lobos surprised quite a few Evergreen players.

“They came out a lot stronger than we expected,” said Evergreen senior Sam DeKoven, who scored three goals. “We only won by eight and for a first-year varsity team, they kept it close. We beat other teams this year by 15 and 16.”

In fact, it was Conifer that put the first points on the scoreboard. In the first quarter, Conifer’s Cole Nichols scored less than two minutes into the period.

Evergreen’s Will Cox answered with the Cougars’ first goal just a minute and a half later. DeKoven scored his first goal two minutes after that.

The game was tied at 2-2 as several players scrambled for the ball in front of Evergreen’s goal and the ball got knocked in. The ball seemed to bounce off a few of the Cougars’ own players and into the net.

However, Evergreen (5-7 Foothills and overall) corrected its mistake in the final minute as Nate Robison scored the go-ahead goal and DeKoven connected again with just 30 seconds remaining. Evergreen led 4-2 at the end of the first.

In the second quarter, Conifer (0-6, 0-8) kept Evergreen scoreless for the first three minutes.

Robison scored unassisted at the 9:47 mark and DeKoven scored his third goal with 8:17 remaining in the half. Mike Philbin scored his first goal with 5:15 left.

The Cougars led 7-2 at halftime.

“Watching them previously, they gave up a lot of goals so I was surprised that we were only leading by five at the half,” Evergreen’s Nate Robison said. “There’s always a big rivalry between these two schools and with lacrosse it’s no different ee even if they are a first-year team.”

In the second half, Conifer had a hard time controlling possession. Evergreen’s defense knocked the ball out of the Lobos’ sticks every chance they got.

In the third quarter, Philbin scored again for Evergreen and Nick Durbin scored with 2:04 remaining in the period to give the Cougars a 9-2 lead.

Robison scored his third goal of the day just seconds into the fourth quarter. Conifer’s Josh Lines put the final goal in the net for the Lobos with 5:16 remaining in the game. But, Evergreen was not finished as Bryan Herman scored with 4:36 left on the clock.