ARVADA — Dakota Ridge boys lacrosse team flipped the switch in time to clinch the Class 4A Foothills League title Wednesday at the North Area Athletic Complex.

The Eagles defeated rival Green Mountain 11-4 to repeat as conference champions, but it wasn’t easy.

“You have to give Green Mountain credit. They came out ready to play,” Dakota Ridge coach Dax Riecke said of the Rams attempting to spoil the Eagles’ senior night. “But I never had a doubt in our squad that we were going to come out victorious.”

Green Mountain junior Ryan Beckman’s goal with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter tied things up 4-4 in the critical league game. However, Dakota Ridge sophomore Landon Kalsbeck won the ensuing face-off, raced down the field and scored with 1:10 left in the quarter to give the lead back to the Eagles.

“We definitely needed that,” Riecke said of Kalsbeck’s go-ahead goal. “We fall back on Kalsbeck so much. He is only a sophomore, but by far one of the best —if not the best —face-off kids in the state. He gets us going.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

It was all Dakota Ridge (9-5, 4-0 in league) from there on out. The Eagles scored two more goals from senior Sam Lyall and sophomore Brody Spallone in the final minute of the quarter to take a 7-4 lead going to the fourth.

“I really thought we could turn it around,” Kalsbeck said. “We weren’t playing that well. We were missing shots. Coach Dak really had a good halftime speech that really motivated the team.”

Dakota Ridge scored four more times in the fourth to seal the 11-4 victory. Junior Nolan Hartman scored twice, along with Jack Seidel and Spallone adding a goal each to give the Eagles seven unanswered goals to close out the game.

Junior Zachary Hearn picked up the victory in net for the Eagles. Hearn allowed just one goal after halftime. Green Mountain senior goalie Bohdan Tabor was stellar in net facing 39 shots.

“We just needed to believe in ourselves,” Kalsbeck said of closing out the game in the final quarter. “We knew we could win. That was never a doubt.”

The win give the Eagles a 5-game winning streak heading into their regular-season and league finale against Conifer (5-9, 0-4) at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, at Dakota Ridge High School.

“Back-to-back league titles is really cool. First time ever in school history,” Riecke said of the boys lacrosse program. “It’s a big accomplishment and we’re happy about it.”

Green Mountain (7-7, 1-3) wraps up its regular season at Mullen on Saturday, May 4. Despite a 4-game losing streak, the Rams are 16th in the CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index and will likely join Foothills League members Dakota Ridge, Evergreen and Golden in the 24-team 4A state tournament that begins next week.

There is a chance Mullen and Conifer could also sneak into the state tournament.