By Cory Waltrip, editor in chief & Loic Guegan, staff writer
The Boulder High boys lacrosse team pulled off its biggest victory of the season, and perhaps in the history of the program, on Thursday when the squad triumphed over its hated cross-town rivals, the Fairview Knights, 11-7. This was Boulder’s first-ever victory over the Knights after losing consecutively for the past 10 years. Sophomore Ian Oden came up huge for the Panthers as he scored six goals, four of them coming in the second half, when Boulder outscored the Knights 6-1.
The Panther’s victory did not come easily as the Knights jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but Boulder’s defense tightened up behind the leadership of junior captain Kristian Lupa, and the offense began to heat up with Oden and senior captain Bryant Jacobs combining for nine goals. Junior Evan Carlin added a goal and two assists. The Panthers came into halftime trailing 6-5, but then they exploded out of the gates in the third quarter when they outscored Fairview 5-0.
“We came into the huddle during halftime and said that our defense needed to get louder and play more physically and that our offense needed to have smarter possessions and better shots,” Jacobs said.
Lupa expressed the importance of the game, “The win gave us confidence and showed us what we are capable of, and gave us a taste for winning that left us hungry for more. It’s always satisfying to defeat your crosstown rival.”
Jacobs said the victory was special for him after suffering defeats at the hands of his rivals for three years straight.
“I’ve wanted to beat Fairview ever since I came to Boulder High for lacrosse, and yesterday we reached this dream. It was a big step for the program for this year and years to come,” Jacobs said.
It remains to be seen whether the momentum stemming from this emotional victory will be able to propel the Panthers into the playoffs, but they still have plenty of work to do with a 4-6, 3-1 record, and their next game coming on Wednesday against perennial power Fort Collins, which is currently in first place in the Panther’s Northern Conference.
“Obviously this game was a lot of fun,” Oden said, “and I’m really excited about beating Fairview, but we still have a lot of work to do so that we can make the playoffs.”