Green Mountain boys lacrosse scores late to upset 4A No. 10 Conifer

LAKEWOOD — Green Mountain sophomore Trey Towndrow’s laser shot late in the fourth quarter Wednesday afternoon gave the Rams’ boys lacrosse program something it couldn’t get last year: a victory over rival Conifer.

The Rams (5-2, 1-0 in Class 4A Foothills League) scored an impressive 4-3 victory over the defending conference champions at Trailblazer Stadium.

Conifer goalie Rocko Fillweber (1) gets some help from the post as Green Mountain's Ben Fonte (6) has his shot ring off the post. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“It’s really big,” said Towndrow, who scored a pair of goals. “We needed this one being our first conference win and moving forward with it.”

The Lobos, ranked No. 10 in the latest CHSAANow.com 4A boys lacrosse poll, easily handled Green Mountain 16-3 last season. Conifer (3-5, 0-2) got out to a good start with an 8-5 victory over two-time defending 4A state champion Valor Christian, but since that win the Lobos have lost 5 of 6 games.

“There are so many teams that have upset other teams we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Towndrow said. “Obviously, Conifer was really good last year and lost some good seniors. Every team is different every year.”

The difference in the first of a boys lacrosse triple-header Wednesday at Trailblazer Stadium was the goaltending by Green Mountain’s Ryan Burdi. The junior shut out the Lobos until Conifer sophomore Hayden Lieberman scored back-to-back goals with under six minutes to play in the third quarter.

Green Mountain goalie Ryan Burdi has held five opponents to 5 goals or less in 5 games this season. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Green Mountain led 3-0 in the second half, but three straight goals tied things up with just less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. However, the Rams’ defense and Burdi didn’t allow the Lobos to score in the final minutes.

“Our goalie (Ryan Burdi) is probably the best goalie in 4A,” Green Mountain coach Nate Hallahan said. “He is doing a really good job leading our defense.”

Hallahan admitted his squad is having problems scoring goals at times, but the Rams’ offense put just enough in the back of the net against another solid goalie performance by Conifer junior Rocko Fillweber.

Junior Tanner Wagner scored the lone goal of the first half to give Green Mountain a 1-0 lead. Towndrow and senior Ben Fonte extended the Rams’ lead to 3-0 early in the third quarter before Conifer made its run.

Conifer senior Kyle Butler tied the game at 3-3 with 9:56 left in the fourth quarter before Towndrow put in the final goal of the game.

Conifer's Cole Hollander (16) attempts to get a shot off despite the effort of Green Mountain freshman Ethan Domagala. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“Give the ball to No. 2 and do something with it,” Hallahan joked talking about drawing up the eventual game-winning goal by Towndrow. “He is a special athlete and becoming a better and better lacrosse player for sure.”

Conifer has an uphill battle to repeat as conference champions with two league losses already. Rival Evergreen (8-1, 1-1) defeated the Lobos 8-6 before spring break.

“We’ve just got to get back to physical, hard practices,” Conifer coach Dak Riecke said about regrouping after the Lobos’ fifth loss in six games. “We’ve got to get back to the drawing board and what we know … the basics of lacrosse.”

The Lobos are back on the field with a non-league game against Eagle Valley in Gypsum on Monday, April 16.

Green Mountain has a huge showdown against Golden at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night back at Trailblazer Stadium. The Demons (7-3, 1-0) won their league opener Wednesday against Clear Creek by a score of 20-0.

Green Mountain junior Gavin Forrest (33) absorbs a check by Conifer junior Mitch Marinaro. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)