Regis Jesuit field hockey coach Spencer Wagner watched his team play well during the final 20 minutes of the game, but it was a little too late.
Colorado Academy grabbed a 2-0 lead and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Regis Raiders in the CHSAA state championship field hockey game on Nov. 5 at All-City Stadium.
The Mustangs, who wrapped up an perfect 18-0-0 season, went ahead 2-0 with 25:32 left to play in the second half, but Regis responded with a gritty comeback effort.
Caitrin Lombardo scored for the Raiders to cut the deficit in half with 8:20 remaining in the game, and Regis continued its pressure on Colorado Academy. The Raiders had one good chance to tie the game with an open goal but a Mustangs defender cleared the ball before any Regis player could capitalize on the opportunity.
“We certainly played like we wanted to win at the end,” said Wagner. “We had a slow spot in the middle but we certainly ended like I knew we could. It was an exciting finish. I'm impressed we came back from being two goals down, and we came back.”
Regis entered the title game having given up just seven goals all season, including two to Colorado Academy in a 2-0 loss on Sept. 26.
“We did play good defense all year,” added Wagner. `We were missing our center defender in the title game. With the reschedule, Shannon Cunningham couldn't attend the game. That was a little bit of a bummer. That probably impacted us. We made the best of it and produced a good outcome regardless.”
Regis, the defending state champions, finished the season with a 14-2-2 record.
“It was a great season,” emphasized Wagner. “CA was the only team we didn't beat. They are the only team we lost to. I was really looking forward to this chance to play them again.
“I thought we were very much improved since the last time we faced them and we would have a good showing against them, and I think we did. Every time we play them, I think this is the time we are going to end up on top and they just edge us out.”
A snowstorm forced the final two rounds of the state playoffs to be delayed, and the semifinals and finals were played on Nov. 5 and 6 at All-City Stadium.
In the semis — a rematch of last year's state championship game — Regis edged Cherry Creek, 1-0, in the second overtime.
Zoey Dale scored the winning goal for Regis with 1:16 elapsed in the second OT against Cherry Creek.
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