Statement win: PSD district lacrosse team upsets No. 2 Cherry Creek on walk-off OT goal

·4 min read
Lobos lacrosse coach Will Cantwell hugs senior Austin Selvage after his game-winning goal in overtime against Cherry Creek in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Lobos lacrosse coach Will Cantwell hugs senior Austin Selvage after his game-winning goal in overtime against Cherry Creek in the Class 5A quarterfinals.

GREENWOOD VILLAGE — "Not done yet, state champs!" junior Adyn Cover yelled as the Lobos walked off the Stutler Bowl turf.

It wasn't boasting. It wasn't even necessarily a prediction.

The words were just a burst of emotion for a Poudre School District lacrosse team that had just scored the program's biggest win in well over a decade.

Senior Austin Selvage finished a post-scrum breakaway not even two minutes into overtime to lift No. 7 seed PSD over second-seeded Cherry Creek 9-8 on Wednesday night.

"A kind of surreal feeling," second-year Lobos coach Will Cantwell said. "To do it here in a place like the Stutler Bowl with so much lacrosse history is perfect."

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"On the Colorado lacrosse website, it was predicted 92% to 8% that we lose this game," Selvage said. "Cherry Creek is a team to beat. But we showed them what Northside lacrosse is all about."

Selvage's winner came after a chaotic sequence.

Following a Lobos timeout, they promptly lost possession and a mad scramble ensued. Attacker Zach Serell dove for the ball, knocking into Creek players but saving the ball over his shoulder.

Cover grabbed it, found Selvage on a breakaway and the rest was history.

"Zach — what can you say about his effort there," Selvage said. "He laid out for it, got us the ball and then we had the numbers. It was right there for me and it went in."

Lobos boys lacrosse player Adyn Cover celebrates after the team's walk-off win over Cherry Creek in the 5A quarterfinals at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village on Wednesday.
Lobos boys lacrosse player Adyn Cover celebrates after the team's walk-off win over Cherry Creek in the 5A quarterfinals at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village on Wednesday.

The fast-break sequence after the scrum gets practiced often. But to pull it off like that with a season on the line? It was a legendary Lobos moment.

Cantwell was especially happy it was Selvage, a senior who attends Poudre (where Cantwell teaches) and has been watching film with the coach on lunch breaks all week leading up to the game.

"In the biggest moment, he finds the ball on his stick with a chance to send us to the Final Four," Cantwell said. "He wasn't going to miss that one."

The score sparked a massive celebration on the field and in the visiting stands, all while Bruins coaches berated officials for a desired foul during the initial scrum.

It was an emotional way to wrap a wild, rollercoaster game.

The visitors jumped out to a 6-2 halftime edge in front of a stunned home crowd, dominating possession early and leading by four goals three different times.

"We were clicking," Cantwell said. "We knew what they were going to run and the matchups we had to have. When it all comes together like that, it's pretty special."

Lobos boys lacrosse player Brady Hintz (16) guards Cherry Creek's Ollie Nolting during the teams' quarterfinal matchup Wednesday at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.
Lobos boys lacrosse player Brady Hintz (16) guards Cherry Creek's Ollie Nolting during the teams' quarterfinal matchup Wednesday at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.

But the Bruins were a top seed for a reason and went on a run, getting their face-off going and taking advantage of Lobos fouls.

After a 5-0 run in just more than seven minutes, Creek had the lead early in the fourth quarter.

Cover, battling cramps late, tied the game up soon after, but both teams battened down the hatches and allowed nothing more in regulation.

It was another all-around effort for the Lobos, who get No. 6 seed Arapahoe in the semifinals (at Denver University), which have been moved to Monday due to weather. Fittingly enough, Serell was the only player to score multiple goals in the match.

"The growth of this team is just phenomenal," Selvage said. "It's an amazing year."

This was a full-circle moment in many ways for a program that hadn't even won a playoff match in nine years and hasn't made the state semifinals since the mid-2000s.

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Cantwell's parents were key advocates in lacrosse becoming a CHSAA-sanctioned sport, and he remembers watching annual state-title matches from the Stutler stands.

Poudre School District boys lacrosse coach Will Cantwell celebrates after Zach Serell scored to give the Lobos a 6-2 lead just before halftime during the Lobos' 5A quarterfinal win at Cherry Creek.
Poudre School District boys lacrosse coach Will Cantwell celebrates after Zach Serell scored to give the Lobos a 6-2 lead just before halftime during the Lobos' 5A quarterfinal win at Cherry Creek.

Arapahoe head coach Logan Bobzien is a longtime friend of Cantwell's dating back to their own playing days. They even exchanged scouting notes and talked about a possible matchup earlier in the week.

For a team still considered an upstart despite its now-16-1 record and conference champion status, this was a validating moment.

"That's a statement win," Cover said. "The state is definitely going to take notice now. I don't know how they couldn't."

The Lobos scrimmaged Arapahoe before the season, winning a chippy, physical affair.

The Warriors, though, might be the hottest team in Colorado right now, upsetting Valor Christian in the quarters after beating No. 1 Regis Jesuit to close the regular season.

"That's a team we can beat," Selvage said emphatically.

"There's definitely some history," Cover added. " They'll want a piece of us, so I can't wait."

Yet another sea change for the Lobos. After beating Cherry Creek, they're now the hunted, no longer the hunters.

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The Lobos boys lacrosse team takes a team picture after beating Cherry Creek in the 5A quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.
The Lobos boys lacrosse team takes a team picture after beating Cherry Creek in the 5A quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village.

Chris Abshire is the sports and stats content coach at the Coloradoan. Contact him at ChrisAbshire@coloradoan.com. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado 5A boys lacrosse: Cherry Creek upset by Poudre School District