DENVER | A second rally against Palmer Ridge wasn’t to be for the Regis Jesuit field hockey team Tuesday evening.
The Raiders came back from a three-goal deficit to take the Bears to overtime in the season opener for both teams, but they couldn’t overcome the two-goal deficit they faced for much of their state field hockey semifinal at All-City Stadium.
Despite a strong flurry in the final 15 minutes, coach Spencer Wagner’s fourth-seeded Regis Jesuit team fell to top-seeded Palmer Ridge 3-1, a result that put the Bears into the state championship game for a second straight season. Palmer Ridge plays No. 3 Kent Denver — a 1-0 double-overtime winner over No. 2 Colorado Academy — in a 7 p.m. final Thursday.
The Raiders, who qualified for the semifinals for the second time in the past three seasons but still are in search of their first state title game appearance, finished the season 12-3-2 overall. They topped fifth-seeded Cherry Creek 1-0 in the quarterfinals three days earlier.
After a scoreless 20-minute stretch to open the game, Palmer Ridge (15-1-1) got on the scoreboard first on an outstanding individual effort from senior Liz Phillips, who dribbled through at least three Regis Jesuit players before whipping a shot into the back of the goal.
The Bears racked up double-digit penalty corners for the game and one of them led to the second goal, which came 2:30 after the first when Abby Hermann finished a feed from Sydney Chytka.
A short time later, the Raiders responded by finishing a penalty corner chance of its own when senior leading scorer Regan Cadieux guided a shot into the goal that came from the outside following the corner.
A one-goal deficit at halftime grew to two just 1:23 in the second half, however, when yet another penalty corner turned into another Hermann tally.
Regis Jesuit passing and teamwork produced from fine chances down the stretch, but nothing else got past Bears’ goalie Reece Wagers.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
PALMER RIDGE 3, REGIS JESUIT 1
Score by halves:
Regis Jesuit 1 0 — 1
Palmer Ridge 2 1 — 3
Palmer Ridge — Liz Phillips, 9:57
Palmer Ridge — Abby Hermann (Sydney Chytka), 7:20
Regis Jesuit — Regan Cadieux, 5:25
Palmer Ridge — Hermann (Chytka), 28:37