5A boys lacrosse semifinals: Regis Jesuit battles delay to beat Arapahoe

Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team

(Cannon Casey/CHSAANow.com)

JEFFERSON COUNTY — It took two days — exactly 20 hours, 43 minutes — and three different locations, but Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse got it done.

Defending champion Regis Jesuit and Arapahoe had their Class 5A semifinal game postponed on Wednesday night with 7:23 left on the clock with the Raiders leading 10-5.

“We told them basically to take a deep breath and you have to go back to where you were when the game ended,” Regis Jesuit coach Jim Soran said. “Because we had momentum going for us, and we wanted to keep that momentum going. We wanted to get the first goal. That’s always important.”

The Raiders wasted no time getting on the board Thursday with Grant Breeden scoring just 35 seconds into play. Off the next faceoff, Jake Taylor scored to push the score to 12-5 just like that.

“This morning, it was really intense,” Taylor said. “(Soran) was telling us to get ready and make sure we were dialed in. We came here this morning and all the guys, all the captains, were hyping us up and getting us ready.”

Arapahoe’s Chase Douglas responded with a goal, but again the Regis Jesuit quick-striking offense came right back with a blow from Taylor.

Some life was breathed into the Arapahoe players when Joe Kassal was flagged for a three minute, no release penalty for an illegal stick. Josh Carlson jumped on the advantage and closed the Regis Jesuit lead to 13-7.

But then Anders Erickson shut out any hope the Warriors had with his goal to cement the lead at 14-7 with 3:43 remaining.

“As a team, this is really good for us,” Taylor said. “Us being able to deal with these kind of situations and still come out firing and come out playing hard.”

It was Erickson who broke the scoreless tie at the beginning of the game, putting the Raiders up 1-0. But the Warriors responded with four straight goals, silencing the Regis crowd.

But the Raiders fought back as Taylor got one to end the Arapahoe scoring run. And only a minute later, he re-energized the Regis crowd with a beautiful behind-the-back goal to make it a one-goal game.

“We’ve been working on that all year,” Soran said. “We talk about when you start losing your focus, you have to reconnect and get it back. Games are full of momentum changes and you have to make sure that you’re able to adjust to them.”

Each side got one before the halftime horn blew.

Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team

(Cannon Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Both teams had trouble getting offensive opportunities to start the second half, but Quentin Birch was able to get open in front of the net and tie the game for Regis.

And then, like he did when he broke the scoreless tie and put the dagger in Arapahoe, Erickson put the Raiders up a goal. Regis had momentum once again and they would not let it go.

The Raiders made sure that the momentum stayed with them as they anxiously waited for the night to pass and to get a shot at finishing the game.

“Lots of communication,” Taylor said. “Talking to each other, telling each other to stay awake, stay prepared and stay ready. And then just keeping communication throughout the game. Keeping everything really upbeat.”

And they didn’t disappoint.

Regis Jesuit moves on to face Cherry Creek in the 5A title game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Bruins beat Kent Denver on Wednesday.

The Raiders will have a quick turnaround because of the postponement, but Regis Jesuit is ready for the opportunity.

“We just have to use what time we have very judiciously,” Soran said. “This is it basically. We don’t have any preparation time.”