Coach proud of girls’ state field hockey championship

7-on-7 overtime played to speed strength of the team

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Regis Jesuit coach Spencer Wagner was probably one of the few people who relaxed a little when the state field hockey championship game went into double overtime.

He knew his team might have an advantage since the game went from 11-on-11 into a 7-on-7 situation in the second OT, and the Raiders could use their speed.

Cherry Creek controlled play for most of regulation time but the Raiders dominated in the overtimes and pulled out a 2-1 double overtime win in the April 29 match played at the Stutler Bowl.

It was the second state title for Regis (9-1) in the past three years and was the second win over Creek this season as the teams split two earlier games.

It took just 38 seconds into the second overtime period for Ellie Johnson to charge into the middle on a penalty corner and get the ball to Cate Lord who tipped in the game-winner.

“This is what we’ve been working for and this is an amazing,” said Johnson. “We have a lot of speed and that translates into our game. So 7-on-7 really helps us.”

Lord didn’t have much time before joining a group of Regis students that fans that started celebrating on the field.

“We practiced 7-on-7 a few days before just in case it gets to that,” added Lord. “We just have really good connections moving down field so I think that was to our advantage.”

Lily Castiglione put Regis ahead 1-0 with with 8:13 left in the second period but Creek’s Ella Pratt tied the game on a penalty stroke in the third period and the teams went into overtime.

“I was excited to see what we could do 7-on-7 because we practice it,” said Wagner. “We looked good. We have a core of very strong players and they practice together. We put those same six players together over and over. I think that’s one of the reasons that 7-on-7 went in our favor.”

Wagner admitted the game was “a little draining.”

“This is more relief for me than celebration,” he continued. “It took a lot to get here. We’ve been quarantined, masked, canceled and snowed out. It’s been a lot.

“I thought the game was phenomenal, and I thought Creek played phenomenal. Last time we scored four goals against them but they shut us down and kept us to one goal for 70 minutes until the second overtime. But we trained and prepared for it and got ready for overtime. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Cherry Creek finished the COVID shortened season with a 10-2 record.

“The hardest thing is watching this team progress and be the best team in the state and lose the last game,” said Creek coach Clara Detrick-Yee. “I told them there was nothing more they could have done except put one more in and they were definitely the dominating team in the game.

“The first overtime we had 10 really strong players. In 7-on-7 we just lose strength and definitely speed and quickness,”

Regis, which won the 2018 state trophy with a 2-1 overtime win over Creek and was seeded fourth in this season’s state bracket, ushered out top-seeded Colorado Academy in one of the April 24 semifinals. Castiglione had two goals in the Raiders’ semifinal win while Lord scored the other goal for Regis.

Creek, the No. 2 seed, got a 2-1 semifinal win over third-seeded Palmer Ridge. Alexandra Michelotti and Emily Sands had the Bruins’ goals as Creek advanced into the state finals for the eighth time. It was the school’s first title appearance since a 2007 state championship victory over Colorado Academy.

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