CENTENNIAL — It had been three years since Arapahoe had beaten Cherry Creek in boys lacrosse and it seemed like that streak was going to continue.
Until the Arapahoe defense stepped up in the final minute of Wednesday night's game.
The fourth-ranked Warriors were able to overcome all adversity as they earned a hard fought 10-9 victory over the Class 5A CHSAANow.com No. 2-ranked Bruins.
The game got off to a shaky start for Arapahoe (10-2 overall, 6-2 Centennial) as they were unable to contain the Creek offense. The Bruins (7-3, 2-1) exploded for a five-goal quarter, two of which coming from senior Henry Adams.
Although they were on their heels early, the Warriors found a way to net two goals, the second coming in the final 30 seconds of the quarter, allowing them to hang around even though momentum was comfortably in Creek’s grasp.
“Cherry Creek is such a fabulous team, we play them every year in conference and Coach (Bryan) Perry and his staff have done such a phenomenal job of building a great program,” Arapahoe coach Logan Bobzien said. “They always on their home turf make an effort to come out fast and they did that tonight, it took us awhile to make a couple adjustments to their game-plan, but once we settled in I thought our guys did better.”
The second quarter showcased a different Arapahoe squad as they seemed to play with more patience and execution, as sophomore Riley Moynihan and senior Keenan Moffitt led their squad on the attack as both scored a goal before heading into halftime down 6-4.
Less than a minute into the third quarter, Moffitt was able to set the tone early for the second half as he put in his third goal of the night, bringing his team within one.
The Warriors would eventually go on to dominate the third period scoring three goals, including the game-tying goal and Moffitt’s fourth goal only 18 seconds a part in the final minute of the quarter.
“We haven’t beat them (at home) since 2009 so just getting the win was the mindset,” senior Keenan Moffitt said.
In fact, the last time Arapahoe beat Cherry Creek, period, was in the 2013 championship game.
“We always tend to start off slow, we are a second half team for sure, but our bench energy kept us going the whole game which is huge,” Moffitt added. “Having all my teammates around me, these guys make me better and as long as we can get a win, that’s all that matters.”
The fourth quarter put on display that dynamic offensive talent both teams have to offer as they traded goals back and forth. In total, six goals were scored in the final period of regulation.
Down 10-9, Cherry Creek had one last chance to tie the contest up to send it to sudden death overtime but a turnover at the 15 second mark proved to be the nail in the coffin as the Warriors were able to retain possession and call a quick timeout, before ultimately draining the remaining time.
“For us, it’s a process of getting better every day, so we treated today just like a normal Wednesday,” Bobzien stated. “And for us, it’s just a matter of maintaining our focus on every play. I thought our guys had good focus for about three quarters, but we have to make sure we put together four quarters as prepare for the postseason. But there is still a lot of lacrosse left to play.”