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No. 1 Valor Christian tops No. 3 Conifer

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First half mistakes, second half penalties haunt Lobos in a top-five battle

By Sullivan A

CONIFER --  Anytime you host the top ranked team in the state you are sure to draw a big time atmosphere. That was the case on Monday night as No.3 Conifer hosted No.1 Valor Christian in front of a packed stadium.
Conifer hung in early, but lost their composure in the second half en route to a 20-10 loss.
“It’s tough when you are tired late in the game,” said Conifer head coach Paul Taylor. “We lost our composure and it showed on the scoreboard and in the penalty box.”
The Lobos were flagged several times on the night including one ejection. Valor fed off the chippiness and used the penalties to their advantage scoring four goals during Conifer penalties.
With the score 6-3 in favor of the Eagles in the second frame, Valor launched an offensive assault resulting in five-straight goals. Senior captain Grayson Goodyear started the momentum with a goal at the 4:53 mark. Gianni Orlando, Lance Tillman and Cooper Rich all tallied a goal over a two-minute span for the Eagles. The dagger came with just two seconds remaining in the first half as Ian Acheson scored giving Valor an 11-3 lead at the break.
Conifer gave up two quick goals in the third quarter but finally gained some momentum as Riley Miller found the net from about ten-yards out. Miller’s goal sparked a run as teammate Mason Meyer scored four minutes later cutting the Eagle lead to nine. Two minutes further and Cole Hollander gave the Lobos their third-straight goal.
With 1:47 remaining in the third quarter, Devon Thompson went coast-to-coast sprinting the length of the field taking a shot from a few yards out that found the back of the net as Conifer capped off their 4-0 run and entered the final quarter trailing 14-7.
Valor showed little fatigue as they answered Conifer’s run in the fourth quarter with two-straight goals pushing the lead to 16-7. Meyer scored his second of the night with 10:52 remaining in the game cutting the lead to eight, but the Lobos wouldn’t come any closer.The Eagles finished the game on a 4-2 run picking up the 20-10 victory. The two Conifer goals were scored by Chase Phelps and Kyle Butler.
“It was great for our guys to see a state championship caliber team,” explained Taylor. “Playing these big teams out of our conference not only helps our RPI but also gives us a little confidence moving forward.”
Conifer (1-1) will look to rebound with a win against Legend on Friday.
Valor Christian 4 7 4 5 - 20
Conifer 2 1 4 3 - 10