Keenan Foshe felt like he was carrying the world on his shoulders.
However, it took only 16 seconds for that self-imposed weight to ease as the junior midfielder led Chaparral to a key 17-14 Douglas County League lacrosse victory over visiting Highlands Ranch on April 24.
Foshe broke a 13-13 tie by winning two faceoffs, racing down field and scoring the first two of four Chaparral goals in the final 4:20 of the game.
“I just put the world on my shoulders for some reason,” Foshe said. “I'm the first guy to touch the ball so I have the best chance if I can win the faceoff and put it in the back of the net. That's what I was thinking. All I want to do is win.”
Foshe had five goals and four assists and won 11 of 19 faceoffs in the game that saw Highlands Ranch rally from a 7-3 halftime deficit to tie the game at 13-all with 4:27 remaining in regulation time.
“He was tremendous on faceoffs and really just willed the ball into the back of the net,” Chaparral coach Mike Magrin said of Foshe. “He dug deep and basically broke it open for us.
“Highlands Ranch did a tremendous job of coming back and tying it up. But Keenan put the whole thing on his shoulders and brought it to the house for us. He by far was the player of the game.”
After the pair of goals by Foshe pushed the Wolverines ahead 15-13, Chaparral added two more goals to complete a four-goal outburst in 2:24 to seal the victory.
“That third quarter was a big momentum shift when they tied it,” Magrin said. “We were able to kind of regain that momentum. We dug deep and played with good composure.
“Our defense played pretty well. We put Gage Kuntz on their best player (Evan Wong) and he pretty much locked him off.”
Wong had two assists in the game. Mitch Frydenlund and Jacob Pauley each had four goals to lead the Falcons.
“We just didn't play with any edge in the first half,” Highlands Ranch coach Matt Bocklet said. “We didn't shoot well, we didn't talk on defense and there was zero energy. I just told them you have to be a little more excited. We did a good job on offense coming back and then gave up transition goals.”
Highlands Ranch outscored Chaparral 6-3 in the third quarter and actually went ahead 9-8 on a goal by Max Abbott, but a goal by Foshe tied the game and a tally by Mitch Ross pushed the Wolverines in front heading into the fourth quarter.
The win was a key for Chaparral's bid to get the automatic playoff seed as the champion of the Douglas County League. The league winner will definitely be in the 16-team state playoff field with either 11 or 12 wild-card bids up for grabs.
Chaparral was tied for first with Rock Canyon heading into the final week of the regular season. Both teams have 9-1-0 league records, but the Wolverines beat the Jaguars 14-5 on March 19.
“This was a huge game for us to retain league championship abilities,” Magrin said. “Dropping a game from here on out would drop us out of the picture.”
Chaparral beat Legend 10-5 on April 25 as Foshe, Wyatt Jones and Alex Spinder each scored two goals.