long-stick defender J.D. Hall
told teammate Bryce Parietti
that before the season was over, he would attempt a behind-the-back shot.
Time was running out on Hall's promise, as the Warriors had only one game remaining on their boys lacrosse schedule, and it was a big one: the Colorado state championship game Saturday against Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village)
As the contest at Sports Authority Field entered the final quarter, Hall finally saw his opportunity, and he took advantage. Cradling the ball on his right side, Hall flipped the stick behind his back and over his left shoulder, and the ball went past Cherry Creek goalie Sam Arthur
for a goal.
Hall's highlight-reel play punctuated the Warriors' 8-4 victory against the Bruins for their second state title in four years. Arapahoe finished the season with a perfect 19-0 record.
"I can't put it into words how it feels to win," said Hall, who finished with two goals. His behind-the-back effort made it 6-2 in the fourth quarter. "We really focused in on defense and went over what we had to do to stop Cherry Creek's offense."
The second-seeded Bruins (15-4) had been lauded all year for their stellar defensive play, yet it was the No. 1 Warriors who proved to be the better unit in this one.
"We set out to prove to people that our defense was able to be a dominant force," said junior attacker Tyler Lampard, who scored two goals. "The guys played unbelievable and Ryan Smith
(the team's starting goalkeeper) had a great game."
Cherry Creek scored the game's first goal, but wouldn't get its second until 1 minute, 1 second remained in the third quarter. The goal by Austin Smith
pulled the Bruins to within 4-2, but Parietti, who led all scorers with three goals, found the back of the net with 1 second to go to put the Warriors back up by three entering the fourth quarter.
Parietti had earlier scored a goal with 18 seconds to play in the second quarter to give Arapahoe a 3-1 advantage entering halftime.
"Those were huge goals," Arapahoe coach Guy Cerasoli said. "I can't say enough about them."
The Bruins were dejected after coming close to their second state title in three seasons, but they were still able to appreciate the moment.
"It makes you feel like a big deal when you play (at Sports Authority Field)," Cherry Creek senior defender Jake Lindell
said. "It's pretty cool to look around, see the (Denver Broncos) Ring of Fame and to play in front of a large crowd."
The game preceded the Major League Lacrosse contest between the Denver Outlaws and the Boston Cannons.MaxPreps Colorado boys lacrosse state brackets