AURORA — Weather forecasts called for storms in the area of Legacy Stadium. But the only thing pouring was the amount of goals that Cherry Creek was able to score early.
The Bruins struck fast. And they struck often. The end result was a 13-5 win over Kent Denver to advance to the Class 5A boys lacrosse title game. After missing out last year, Cherry Creek will head back to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to play for a state title.
"The Kent-Creek rivalry always brings the intensity that's there an we felt it at the beginning of the game," Nolting said. "
Asher Nolting got the Bruins (17-1 overall) on the board less than two minutes in. Two minutes later, Griffin Gharrity pushed the lead to 2-0. Nolting and Gharrity each finished with two goals, as did Alec Bildstein and Jimmy Erickson.
From that point on, every ground ball seemed to go to the Bruins. Every face-off seemed to wind up in their hands. They were getting plenty of chances and taking advantage of every one.
"So much of the game is ground balls," Bruins coach Bryan Perry said. "We knew those were going to be a key in this one too."
The Sun Devils (13-5) finally got on the board with 9:17 left in the game with a strike from Ryan Bergner. He ended with two in the game.
Returning to the championship game is a welcome feeling for the team who last won a 5A title in 2015, beating Regis Jesuit, the very team they will face on Friday.
It was the Raiders who are responsible for the one loss on Cherry Creek's record. Regis won that game 14-11 back on Mar. 15. But since then the Bruins have been on a roll, which includes a 14-4 over nationally-ranked Torrey Pines.
"We've changed our mindset on offense a lot," Nolting said. "On defense, we've been more patient with the ball. Our intensity has been higher and we're ready for Friday.
Their only goal heading into Friday is to keep this momentum rolling for just one more game. If they can do that, they'll once again hoist a championship trophy.