LAKEWOOD — Chatfield had officially clinched its first girls lacrosse conference title since 2014 before taking the field Thursday at Trailblazer Stadium.
Completing an undefeated record in the Jeffco League with an 18-1 victory over Bear Creek was the cherry on top for a historic conference season for the Chargers (12-3, 8-0 in Jeffco).
“It means so much,” Chatfield senior Bailey Truex said after the team excepted the conference title plaque. “For the four of us seniors we haven’t had this since we made varsity our freshman year. It’s so cool to come together as a team.”
Truex, Ryley Caron, Madeline Tokarski and Jordyn Bashore are the four seniors who were freshmen when Sarah MacDonald took over as coach for the Chargers’ girls lacrosse program four years ago.
Chatfield finished fourth in the Jeffco League during MacDonald’s first season in 2016. The Chargers had back-to-back third-place finished behind rivals Columbine and Dakota Ridge the past two years.
“This was a full team effort,” MacDonald said. “We hadn’t beaten Columbine before. We hadn’t beaten Dakota Ridge before. We really had a common goal where we were really focused and ready to win.”
Chatfield — ranked No. 10 in the CHSAANow.com girls lacrosse poll — will enter the postseason on a 10-game winning streak. The league title gives the Chargers an automatic bid to the 20-team state tournament.
“We are an underdog because I don’t think other people see us as a great team like those big name teams,” said Caron, who had eight goals against Bear Creek. “I think the winning streak really making us going in feeling strong about ourselves. We really can beat anyone if we put our minds to it.”
Truex and freshman Makenna Mant both had four goals in the victory over the Bears (5-9, 0-8), who also closed out their regular season with the conference finale. Tokarski and freshman Sophie Astone added a goal each for the Chargers.
“We set the goal at the beginning of the season to win league. We stuck to that the whole time,” Truex said. “We had a couple of close games, but we stuck to it and won them all.”
Chatfield’s closest league game was a 12-11 victory over Golden. Since that close call, the Chargers have won four of its five final regular-season games by double-digit goals.
The Chargers were No. 9 in the RPI rankings coming into Thursday’s game. Chatfield is almost guaranteed a first-round bye, but might have to go on the road for a second-round game that has to be played by May 11.
“It is kind of that anxious moment where know we are waiting for the brackets to come out,” MacDonald said. “No matter what we are going to be ready to play and focused. In my opinion — I’m a little bias because it my team — I think we can go really far with the group of girls we have when we remain focused and play for each other.”
The last time Chatfield won a league title the Chargers advanced all the way into the state semifinals five years ago.
“We feel really accomplished about our season and we are really pumped about the playoffs,” Caron said.