DENVER — Green Mountain junior goalkeeper Gina Meyer held the ball until the final buzzer sounded to end the Class 4A girls lacrosse state championship game May 22 at Peter Barton Stadium at the University of Denver.
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Meyer ended up on the bottom a pile of Ram lacrosse players after Green Mountain won its first state lacrosse title in the program’s history. No. 5-seeded Green Mountain defeated No. 2 Thompson Valley 16-10.
“I can’t even explain how much this means,” said Green Mountain coach Maddie Ossello, a 2012 graduate of Green Mountain High School. “These girls fought through adversity. They beat every team they lost to by 1-goal this season in the playoffs. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”
The Rams (13-6 record) finished third in the tough 4A West League, but came into the title game on a 5-game winning streak. Green Mountain’s postseason run included victories over Poudre School District and Evergreen, the Stars and Cougars had taken 1-goal wins over the Rams during the regular season.
Thompson Valley (17-2) had taken a 13-12 victory over Green Mountain back on April 22. The Rams managed to making lightning strike for a third time during their postseason run to defeat the Eagles the second time around.
“I’m so excited. We really had to do this for our seniors,” said Green Mountain junior Sophia Warren, who had three goals in the win. “We pulled through. This was our revenge tour. We are really excited right now.”
Senior Shea Murphy led the Rams with eight goals in the title game. The future Regis University lacrosse player finished the season with 93 goals on the season.
“I finally got one,” said Murphy while clutching the 4A state trophy in both arms.
Murphy had played in three 4A girls basketball state semifinals for the Rams, but never played in a state title game until Sunday afternoon at DU. It was the first state championship girls lacrosse game for both Green Mountain and Thompson Valley.
Murphy was brilliant not only netting four goals in each half, but winning the majority of the draws against Thompson Valley. Murphy went head-to-head against Thompson Valley junior Aidan Carr on the draws until the Eagles’ leading scorer suffered a knee injury with 8:02 left in the first half. Carr didn’t return to the game after the injury and scoring Thompson Valley’s first three goals.
“We talked about it at the beginning of the game that No. 17 (Carr) is phenomenal on winning the draw to herself,” Ossello said. “In order to win the game we had to win the draws. Shea stepped up. Freshmen stepped up. Kids who hadn’t been on draws all year stepped up.”
Thompson Valley cut Green Mountain’s lead to 12-10 on a goal by sophomore Rory Carr with 5:38 left in the second half. However, the Rams scored the final four goals. Murphy, Warren, seniors Trish Le and Abbigail Reinhardt all scored in the final minutes to clinch the victory.
Ossello’s move in net with just over 10 minutes to play paid off. Ossello switched in Meyer in goal for junior starter Gretchen Hoffman. It was a change Ossello has done throughout the year.
“We are fortunate to have two goalies who are just phenomenal,” Ossello said. “Switching Gina for Gretch wasn’t a move about them not playing well. We just wanted to switch something up on the field to get into their (Thompson Valley’s) head a little bit. It worked.”
The Eagles scored just one goal on Meyer in the final 10 minutes. Thompson Valley came into Sunday’s match with a 17-game winning streak after dropping its season opener to Poudre.
The Carr sisters — Aidan and Rory — combined for 7 goals for the Eagles. Thompson Valley should be right in the state mix again with graduating just three seniors. Green Mountain graduates six seniors, including Murphy who finished her three seasons scoring 186 goals.
“Going for round two next year,” Warren said of sights on a repeat next year for the Rams.
In the first two years of a 4A girls lacrosse state title, Jeffco Public Schools have won back-to-back state titles. Evergreen won the 2021 state title.
Dennis Pleuss is the sports information director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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