DENVER — Joe Brock scored the winner two minutes into overtime, and Golden boys lacrosse captured the program's first-ever championship by beating Cheyenne Mountain.
“We went to overtime I told the guys on the bench that we were due because we had two overtime losses this year. We were due on our side and sure enough," Golden coach Mike Thumim said. "I didn’t even see Joe’s ball go in. I just saw the guys reaction and I lost my mind.”
The goal capped off an amazing rally from the Demons, who trailed 7-2 late in the second quarter of the Class 4A title game.
“This was unbelievable,” Brock said. “Coming in as a No. 7 seed, we beat one, two and three (seeds). I can’t describe this feeling. It’s incredible. We worked our butts off for this.”
Cheyenne Mountain looked in control at halftime, but Golden slowly chipped away, and chipped away, and eventually, with 1:05 to play in regulation, they tied the game at 9-9 with the defending champions. It was a goal from Brock that tied the game. He finished with three goals and an assist.
“All four years this has been the moment we’ve been looking for,” Brock said. “We came together knowing we had a young team and we were the underdog. It feels amazing.”
The two teams traded early goals as the game opened, and it was 2-2 after four minutes. But then Cheyenne Mountain took control by going up 3-2 with 1:59 to play in the first quarter, and then scoring the first four goals of the second quarter.
It was a commanding 7-2 lead for the defending champions before Golden finally halted the run with a goal with 16 seconds to play in the half. That goal, from sophomore Ben Kirschner, proved to be hugely important.
“I just came into this game with the mindset that I was going to get a few goals," Kirschner said. "I capitalized on my moments and put the ball into the back of the net.”
Golden came out firing in the third quarter, with Kirschner scoring 2:27 into the frame, only to see Cheyenne Mountain answer six seconds later.
But Golden kept coming. They scored the final two goals of the third quarter, making it 8-6, and then Brady desGarennes scored with 6:59 to go in regulation. It was 8-7.
Cheyenne Mountain's James LaCerte put his team up 9-7 two minutes later. Again, Golden wouldn't go away.
Broderick Calley got his team within one with 2:50 to play, off an assist from Brock, and then Brock's heroic shot with 1:05 to go tied the game up. It was the first overtime game in a boys lacrosse championship since 2000.
Then, two minutes into overtime, following sustained possession by Golden, Brock lifted his team to a title, their first.
“There are no words right now. I’m so proud of the team. I’m so proud of the guys," Thumim said. "We knew going in that we had this ability all year. It was frustrating amid that five-game losing streak. Something just clicked and they have been playing just lights out the last three weeks. That is when you want to do it.”
Golden suffered five straight losses before starting play in the 4A Foothills League and didn't win the conference title due to a triple-overtime loss to rival Green Mountain. However, the Demons got hot at the right time to win the 4A state title.
“We said we were going to do it for the guys who played before us, who will play after us and who are playing right now," Kirschner said.