On Wednesday night, the Eagles hosted traditional 4A power and rival Cheyenne Mountain in the semi-finals. After a tight first quarter, the Eagles ripped off an eight goal second quarter to take a commanding lead in the game. The Eagles prevailed with another dominating performance over Cheyenne Mountain, 17-9, earning their third straight trip to the Championship game and a chance to defend their title. The defense was strong, holding Cheyenne Mountain to 21 shots and only nine goals. The offense was lead by six goals each from both Lance Tillman and Grayson Goodyear. Gianni Orlando added three goals as well.
On a late May night that felt more like early March, at Mile High Stadium, the Eagles took to the field to take on the #1 ranked and only once beaten Mustangs from Dawson. Dawson jumped out to an early two goal lead, but the Eagles answered back, including a 9-0 run to cruise to their second state title in two years, becoming the first team in over 10 years to win back-to-back state titles in lacrosse.
The defense played perhaps one of their best games of the year, holding the high scoring offense from Dawson to 12 goals, one of Dawson’s lowest scoring games of the year. Jackson Soderquist anchored the stout defense along with defensive midfielder Easton Cecil, who collected eight ground balls. Eric Pacheco battled tough at faceoffs against one of the best faceoff players in the state, winning .714 percent of the faceoffs he took. Freshman goalie Jack Liselli was selected as the player of the game for making 13 critical saves and holding the high-powered offense from Dawson to 12 goals. Especially impressive performance for a freshman on the BIG stage of a State Championship game at Mile High Stadium.
Friday night’s game was the highest scoring championship game in State history, with the Eagles high flying offense scoring the most goals ever scored by a team in the history of Colorado state championship games. Nine different players recorded points for the offense, lead by sophomore Lance Tillman with four goals and five assists. The other players recording points on this record-breaking night were: Grayson Goodyear (2 goals and 3 assists), Sean Traynor (3 goals and 2 assists), Austin Saupe (3 goals), Montana McLaughlin (2 goals, 1 assist), Ben Seidlin (2 goals), Eric Pacheco (2 goals), Gianni Orlando (1 goal), and Cooper Rich (1 goal).
Check out the highlights of the game on 9News:
This was a tremendous season for the Eagles, setting several team and individual Valor records. Most team goals and points in a season with 294 and 456 respectively. Highest team faceoff win percentage at an amazing .718%. Grayson Goodyear had a school record 61 goals and 96 points in a single season. Eric Pacheco set a season record for most ground balls at 165 and faceoff win percentage at .722%.
The team and their families will celebrate the season at their banquet on Tuesday night, and then six members of the team will represent Valor in the All-State game on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 PM at All-City Stadium. The six first team all-state players are Grayson Goodyear, Gianni Orlando, Sean Traynor, Lance Tillman, Eric Pacheco and Jackson Soderquist.