LAKEWOOD -- Chatfield senior Rachael Walker is making every offensive possession she is able to play with her “best friend” count.
Walker assisted on four of junior Kendra Lanuza’s eight first-half goals Thursday night at Trailblazer Stadium as the Chargers took a 19-2 victory over Dakota Ridge in Jeffco League girls lacrosse action. Walker knows her prep career is coming to an end, along with her time playing with Lanuza, who leads Chatfield with staggering 77 goals on the season.
“Kendra and I are a duo,” said Walker, who finished with four goals and five assists against Dakota Ridge. “I don’t know what I’ll do without her. It’s going to be hard. I’ll miss her.”
For the third time this season, Lanuza finished with nine goals in a game. She also tacked on three assists for No. 2-ranked Chatfield (13-0, 6-0 in league), which clinched the conference title Thursday with the victory.
“I haven’t had a first half like that in awhile,” Lanuza said. “I had some great assisters. Shelby (Piper) and Rachael (Walker) are always looking for me.”
The younger Lanuza sister, Jen, added a trio of goals for the Chargers. Senior Shelby Piper had a pair of goals and assists. Sophomore Ellie Cassel added a goal in Chatfield’s dominating performance. Senior Emily McMinimee picked up the win in goal for the Chargers.
Dakota Ridge sophomore Lauren Evancich and senior Jessica Tobey picked up the goals for the Eagles. Dakota Ridge (7-6, 4-2) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
“We have a lot of chemistry right now. It is a pretty efficient offense. We get a lot of shots,” Chatfield coach Adam Everett said. “That’s just sharing the ball and a lot of smart play on the attack side.”
The win pushed Chatfield’s winning streak in conference play to 14 games dating back to the program’s 2012 campaign. The lone undefeated girls’ lacrosse squad in the state swept through Jeffco last season in winning their first league title.
Chatfield is one win away from running the table in Jeffco for the second straight season. The Chargers wrap up their conference schedule against rival Columbine at 7 p.m. April 29 at Trailblazer Stadium.
“It’s really important,” Everett said of going undefeated through conference play. “We still have Columbine to go and we never discount any opponent.”
Before Chatfield goes for the league sweep, it will have a good non-league test against No. 4 Arapahoe (9-1) at 11:30 a.m. this Saturday at Trailblazer. It will also be a bit of a revenge game for the Chargers. The Warriors eliminated Chatfield in the second round of the state tournament last year.
“They crushed us last year,” Lanuza said of the 20-9 postseason loss to Arapahoe a year ago. “I really think it’s going to be an incredible game. I think we are definitely more prepared this year.”
The Warriors are on an eight-game winning streak, including a 12-11 victory over defending state champion Cherry Creek this week. Chatfield knocked off the Bruins 14-9 before spring break.
“I think the girls are looking forward to the Arapahoe game,” Everett said. “We know Arapahoe is a great team. It’s a great benchmark going into the playoffs.”
Walker doesn’t want to waste the Chargers’ opportunity to be the first Jeffco girls’ lacrosse team to advance to a state championship game.
“We have some much talent on this team and we have to use it all to our advantage,” Walker said. “Last year we came up shorter than we wanted to. This year we have worked a lot harder and I think we’re ready to take it further."