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Monarch calms Lewis-Palmer in first round of 5A state tournament – Colorado Hometown Weekly

Monarch’s Braxton Johnson, left, celebrates a goal by Flynn Leonard, right, against Lewis Palmer during the first round of the Class 5A state lacrosse playoffs in Louisville on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

LOUISVILLE – In the postseason, widespread contributions are critical for teams looking to survive and advance.

Hosting No. 17 seed Lewis-Palmer in the Class 5A boys lacrosse state tournament on Wednesday, No. 16 Monarch’s depth was one of the biggest difference makers. Six different Coyotes scored that night as Monarch earned a convincing 16-3 first-round victory.

Monarch head coach David Auday is now riding a three-game winning streak heading into the second round and believes his Coyotes are peaking at the right time.

“We are rising,” Auday said. “The last three games, four games, we’ve gotten better and better and better. Our confidence is sky high at the moment.”

Monarch faces No. 1 Arapahoe on Saturday at LPS Centennial Stadium in Littleton. The Warriors, well rested after a first-round bye, are 14-1 on the season and two years removed from winning the 2022 5A state title.

Although top scorers Flynn Leonard and Tommy Roberts still got their goals on Wednesday – they scored nine combined goals – several others stepped up on both sides. Ethan Grimes scored three goals, Luke Mastrogiovanni had two and Lennox Richard and Hayden Wilson each scored once.

“Especially as we play better teams, our top players aren’t going to do as much or get more attention,” Monarch senior defenseman Thomas Perkins said. “The more guys we have that can score or stop people from scoring, it’s only going to make our team better.”

Auday added that Monarch spread the ball well while creating strong looks for its scorers.

“We really shared the ball,” Auday said. “You have guys like Ethan Grimes who score a lot, and Luke Mastrogiovanni, who has been the catalyst and an unsung hero this year. It’s not just Tommy and Flynn. We’re just really working on it.”

After closing the first quarter 2-1, the Coyotes provided separation in the second quarter by scoring five goals in about eight minutes. Leonard, Roberts and Richard each scored once, while Grimes scored a pair.

“That was the whole game, honestly,” Perkins said. “In the second quarter we finally started to play our game, possess the ball and settle down.”

On the other end, Perkins and his fellow defensemen helped give the Monarch goaltenders a stress-free evening. With Mason Kish and Trace Anderson splitting time in net, the Coyotes allowed their fewest goals since holding Boulder to two on April 8.

“This is what we’ve been doing all season,” senior defenseman Will Herzig said. “Holding teams to low percentages helps our offense, especially when they get the ball. Our job is to let the offense score. That’s all that matters.”

Monarch and its second-round opponent, Arapahoe, met earlier this spring in a preseason scrimmage, which Auday said featured a stronger showing from the top-seeded Warriors. But considering how much they’ve grown since early March, the Coyotes view Saturday as a whole new challenge.

“All we’ve done this season is improve,” Perkins said. “We started very rough and we are getting hot at the right time. They (Arapahoe) better not overlook us.”

See more at Colorado Hometown Weekly