ARVADA — The final save of the night for Ralston Valley sophomore goalie Calvin Doucette might have very well been the biggest save of his lacrosse career.
“It all came down to that final moment,” Doucette said of the final point-blank shot by Golden junior Kevin Mulligan on Friday at the North Area Athletic Complex. “I just had to stay patient, know where it was going and got a lucky save on it.”
The save just before the clock expired in the fourth quarter preserved a 4-3 victory for Ralston Valley over Golden, ranked No. 6 in the CHSAANow.com Class 4A boys lacrosse rankings. It was the first win for the Mustangs’ third-year varsity program against the rival Demons.
“It’s huge for us,” Doucette said. “To beat Golden after losing to them last year, coming back tonight and fighting through to the end. Everyone contributed.”
While it took a team effort for Ralston Valley (5-2, 0-1 in 5A Jeffco League), Doucette was clearly the difference in the mind of Ralston Valley coach Nick Lewis.
“Calvin was unreal,” Lewis said. “He is a special, special kid. When he is on, he is on and it’s tough to get it by him. I think the story tonight is Calvin Doucette.”
Lewis reflected back to last season when Doucette got his first varsity start in net against Golden. The Demons took a 7-4 win, but Doucette had 16 saves in the loss.
It was definitely a low-scoring affair between the Mustangs and Demons. Ralston Valley never trailed as neither team could string together two straight goals the entire game.
Ralston Valley got goals from sophomore Connor Allen, freshman Davis Brickle, junior Samuel Berning and freshman Lane Kellogg. Golden senior Joe Brock, junior Garrett Landmark and sophomore Ben Kirschner scored for the Demons.
Golden sophomore goalie Kyle desGarennes was solid in net for the Demons, but a shot from Kellogg with 4:25 left in the fourth quarter was the eventual game-winning goal.
“I had been looking for it all game,” Kellogg said of his 12th goal of the season. “We executed on offense as a unit.”
The win was a good bounce-back victory for the Mustangs after dropping their conference opener earlier in the week against Lakewood.
“A lot of kids know each other, so there is that cross-town thing,” Lewis said. “We knew it was going to be a fight. Golden played great. It was truly a gritty team win.”
Ralston Valley gets another huge test when it faces Erie at on Tuesday, April 9, next week on the road. The Tigers (5-1) are No. 2 in the 4A rankings, despite being their first year as a varsity program.
The Mustangs return to 5A Jeffco League action on Friday, April 12, against Dakota Ridge at Trailblazer Stadium.
Golden (2-5) will try to end a five-game losing streak when it hosts Jefferson Academy at 4 p.m. Monday, April 8, at NAAC. The Demons don’t begin their conference place in the Class 4A Foothills League until April 17 when they host Englewood at NAAC.