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EHS girls lacrosse falls to Knights in tourney

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By Alissa Noe

EVERGREEN — Amid a stellar season that made some program history, the Evergreen girls lacrosse team’s run ended in dramatic fashion in the second round of the 4A state tournament on Saturday morning.

On their own home turf, the eighth-seeded Cougars fell to No. 9 Fairview after a valiant comeback effort just fell short, 7-6. And, although the Knights squashed its tournament run in its infancy, Evergreen still made history as the first girls lacrosse team in school history to make it to the postseason.

Both teams earned byes in the first round.

“I just really think this was awesome because this was our first playoffs, and I think we brought the intensity. I think we just proved ourselves this year, showed how good of a team we are,” sophomore Mallory Bowman said. “We were good last year, but I think everybody just got better this year.”

Not only that, but sophomore phenom Margo Miller made a name for herself in Colorado. After Saturday, she finished second in the state in goals scored with 80, just behind Aspen’s Charlotte Howie, who had 81.

Bowman led the Cougars with a hat trick, followed by Miller who added two more. Kate Nierenberg rounded out the scoring trifecta with one of her own.

Early into the competition, the Cougars struggled to get much traction on the Knights offensively. Although the teams tied it up at two toward the end of the first half, Fairview put consistent pressure on sophomore goalie Lauren Spence and broke two more goals through before the break, 4-2.

By the end of the day, Spence secured 11 saves.

In the second half, however, Evergreen found its groove again. Once the Knights went up 6-2, the Cougars’ offense started clicking and pounded Fairview with an onslaught of goals. Over an eight-minute period, they netted four answered scores on the Knights to make things interesting again with six minutes remaining.

In the end, Fairview got the better of the home team as it netted the final goal with just 2:20 left in the competition to steal the win and advance to the quarterfinals against No. 1 Colorado Academy.

“This is great experience versus a really competitive team,” head coach Rachel Sanford said. “Any time you play in the postseason, everybody learns from that, just the difference of playing in May versus April. I think they learn when it’s playoff time, you’ve got to learn to show up.”

Although the Cougars will be losing a ton of talent for next year’s team, they’ll be looking good in future years and hope to build off the 4A state tournament experience they’d never had before.

“It’s exciting for years to come and hopefully this is where we are every year moving forward,” Sanford said.