No. 10 Dakota Ridge outlasts Regis Jesuit in girls lacrosse marathon

LAKEWOOD — It took two and 1/2 hours, but Dakota Ridge walked out of a rainy Trailblazer Stadium with a victory Thursday night.

The Eagles, No. 10 in the CHSAANow.com girls lacrosse preseason rankings, escaped with a 17-12 victory over Regis Jesuit. There were plenty of twists, turns and sitting around during the non-league game.

Dakota Ridge (2-1 overall) jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first 10 minutes and actually induced a running clock with 12:45 remaining in the first half with a 10-goal differential. However, the Raiders (0-2) scored three unanswered goals before halftime to get back into the game.

Senior Kailee Lammers (8 goals) and junior Tia Krats (6 goals) got the Eagles back on track with early in the second half to push Dakota Ridge’s lead back up to 15-6. Then Mother Nature showed up.

Dakota Ridge sophomore Tia Krats, right, looks for room Thursday night at NAAC. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Two lightning strikes within eight miles caused a 45-minute delay. After the break Regis scored six straight goals to cut Dakota Ridge’s lead to 15-12.

“I wasn’t really surprised,” Dakota Ridge coach Jordan Hogan said of the Raiders’ second-half rally after the lightning delay. “Regis is a dangerous team. I knew they had the ability to score that many goals. I think we came out flat and they took it to us.”

Regis junior Maddie Ferguson led the Raiders’ charge with three goals during the run.

“That was very nerve-wracking,” Lammers said of the Eagles’ once 10-goal lead trimmed to 3-goals in the final five minutes of the second half. “Honestly, I knew we would pull it together.”

Dakota Ridge goalie Kendall Garcia came up with a couple of big saves. Krats ended the string of goals by putting in her sixth goal of the game with 4:33 left in the game. Lammers put in her eighth goal with 1:30 left to allow the Eagles to breath easier.

“We (Lammers and Krats) couldn’t put it into the back of the net without our teammates,” said Lammers, who led Dakota Ridge with 78 goals last season and now has 226 goals during her stellar career. “They are feeding us and getting those ground balls.”

Regis senior Mariah Daley (20) feds off Dakota Ridge's Avery Wilson. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Sophomore Rachel Steinman had a pair of goals for Dakota Ridge. Junior Lauren Tobey also put in a first-half goal for the Eagles.

“It’s nice to have them (Krats and Lammers), but Regis did a good job of taking them out of the game at times,” Hogan said. “They did come out strong in the very end.”

Hogan said the tight game and dealing with a long delay early in the season will benefit the Eagles in the long run.

“It’s a learning lesson for the girls and for me too,” Hogan admitted. “Maybe more should have been done during the break. Next time we’ll take it a little more seriously, myself included.”

Dakota Ridge is back at Trailblazer Stadium on Saturday morning to face Valor Christian (2-1).

“This team does have the potential to go further then we did last year,” said Lammers of the Eagles that advanced to the state quarterfinals last year before bowing out to now three-time defending state champion Colorado Academy.

Dakota Ridge is back in action against Valor Christian on Saturday, March 17, at Trailblazer Stadium. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)