Boys Lacrosse: Thompson Valley beats Green Mountain to advance to 4A quarterfinals

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Boys Lacrosse: Thompson Valley beats Green Mountain to advance to 4A quarterfinals Jared McFerran’s hat trick part of a convincing first-round win for the Eagles By Sean Star
Reporter-Herald Sports Writer Posted: 05/09/2017 10:08:47 PM MDT Green Mountain’s Chris Kiser is pressured by Thompson Valley defender Trey Cardenas on Tuesday at Patterson Stadium. ( Logan O’Brien / Loveland Reporter-Herald )
Greg Bilek and Jared McFerran had a friendly competition going on this season. The object was to see who could be the first to score a behind-the-back goal.
The first round of the playoffs doesn’t seem like the best opportunity to try such antics, but that’s what kind of night it was for the Thompson Valley boys lacrosse team Tuesday at Patterson Stadium.
McFerran’s fancy flip into the net came midway through the third quarter and was part of a dominant stretch for the sixth-seeded Eagles as they advanced in the 4A state playoffs with a 13-6 win over 11th-seeded Green Mountain.
Thompson Valley (12-4) advances to play at third-seeded Cheyenne Mountain (12-4) on Friday night (7 p.m.) after the Indians beat Ponderosa 16-6 on Tuesday.
McFerran’s trick shot was one of three goals on the night for the sophomore, who wasn’t afraid to take a risk after waiting all season for the perfect chance to claim bragging rights over Bilek. The opportunity came following a wild scramble behind the Green Mountain goal with Rams keeper Ryan Burdi doing everything in his power to turn away a pair of quality scoring chances before McFerran found himself right in front of the cage, 1-on-1 with Burdi.
“Greg and I this whole season have had this competition to see who could get the first one. I just felt like it was the best opportunity and just let it go,” the TVHS attacker said. “I did it last year, and then in practice I always do behind-the-back passes just kinda having fun, trying new things.” Advertisement
Eagles coach Will Cantwell compared the shot to a dunk in basketball — he was fine with it as long as it went in. More importantly, his team earned its first postseason win since 2014 after getting eliminated in the first round in each of the past two years.
“This is a talented group, it’s a young group,” the third-year head coach said. “Got a big challenge ahead of us now, but for these guys to earn a home playoff game and perform the way they did, overcome some adversity and get a win here in the playoffs, feels awesome. ” Thompson Valley’s Greg Bilek snatches a ball from Green Mountain goalie Ryan Burdi during the Eagles’ 13-6 victory in the first round of the 4A state playoffs on Tuesday at Patterson Stadium. ( Logan O’Brien / Loveland Reporter-Herald )
Burdi came out on fire and made three terrific saves on the Eagles’ first possession to help maintain an early 1-0 Rams’ lead. But once the Eagles broke the dam, there was no letting up.
McFerran provided the early equalizer before a go-ahead score by Mason Sawyer midway through the first quarter put TVHS ahead the rest of the way. The Eagles used their transition game in the second quarter to go up 8-3 at halftime following a pair of goals each by Colby Mauck and Bilek.
The Eagles kept their foot on the gas to start the second half with goals by Micah Payton, Jacob Cherry and McFerran to cap a run of nine straight unanswered to blow it open late in the third at 13-3.
“When we’re clicking, we can be pretty good. We can be pretty exciting,” Cantwell said. “We have a lot of skill and some athleticism. So when we put it all together, it looks pretty good.”
After allowing the first three shots he saw to get past him, Eagles goalie Kobe Lewis tightened up significantly, making eight straight saves before the Rams broke through again late in the third. And by then, the Eagles were in cruise control after McFerran secured his hat trick.
Lewis is one of only a few upperclassmen on the team who has had to endure the heartbreak of going one-and-done the past two years. So to finally break through made it that much more special for the senior.
“It’s so awesome. I think we were super ready for it this year,” said Lewis, who made 11 saves on the night. “Our team was a lot more prepared than we were last year. With the seniors having experienced it the last few years, they kinda have a little more drive.”
After matching a team record with their 12th win this season, the Eagles now turn their attention to one of just four teams to beat them this year as Cheyenne Mountain posted a convincing 15-3 victory when the two teams met last month in Colorado Springs. The Eagles were never really competitive in that contest but are confident they’ll produce a different outcome this time with the stakes exponentially higher.
“Our defense just fell apart and our offense wasn’t really creating anything,” McFerran said. “I’m really excited because I don’t think we played well last time we played them, so I’m excited to see how we can do against them this time.”
Sean Star: 970-669-5402, or twitter.com/seanvstar
4A State Playoffs First Round
Eagles 13, Rams 6 Green Mountain 2 1 1 2 — 6 Thompson Valley 4 4 5 0 —13
Goals — Green Mountain : Trey Corkin 2, Trey Towndrow 2, Spencer Snow, JD High; Thompson Valley : Jared McFerran 3, Mason Sawyer 2, Cody Rakowsky, Caleb Smith, Colby Mauck 2, Greg Bilek 2, Jacob Cherry, Micah Payton.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Green Mountain : Ryan Burdi 48-13-9; Thompson Valley : Kobe Lewis 48-6-11.