Two years ago, ThunderRidge’s girls lacrosse team reached the Class 5A state semifinals before falling to juggernaut Colorado Academy.

So it could have stood to reason that last year was a step back for the Grizzlies, who lost in the second round of the 5A playoffs to Fairview. But really it was just another step in the right direction for a program that had only one senior on the roster. Juniors McKenna Eppers and CJ Meehan combined to score 94 goals, and freshman Rocquette Allen added 33 goals and 24 assists. Keira Biwer was a first-team all-state defender as a junior.

ThunderRidge (5-1) has shown through the first month of the season exactly where it’s headed. The Grizzlies’ only loss came 13-7 to seven-time defending champion Colorado Academy, and the team has a handful of victories over top-ranked programs, including current 4A No. 1 Castle View.

A 24-14 victory Saturday over 4A No. 3 Evergreen, powered by seven goals and three assists from Allen, followed by an 18-7 rout of Chatfield on Saturday – Allen and Meehan had seven points each – has ThunderRidge currently fifth in the 5A Coaches Poll. The Grizzlies have a huge stretch upcoming, starting with No. 2 Fairview on Saturday and continuing Tuesday at No. 3 Valor Christian.

Colorado Academy (7-0, 1-0 in 5A West) is the only unbeaten team in 5A. Cherry Creek has dropped back-to-back games to Valor Christian and the Mustangs.

Castle View is on top of the 4A poll, followed by Golden, which took down No. 5 Denver South 11-8 on Thursday ahead of a clash Saturday at fourth-ranked Mead.

With the first full month of the season in the books, here is a quick look at the two classifications headed into the second week of April:


Class 5A

Valor Christian has bounced back nicely after consecutive losses in the middle of March, including a 14-11 setback to Fairview. The Eagles (5-2) defeated current No. 6 Regis Jesuit on March 24, and took down Cherry Creek 15-6 on March 31. Valor handled 10th-ranked Air Academy 23-1 on Thursday.

Against Creek, Reagan Digby had four goals and four assists for Valor, and Kaley Kakac added four goals.

Fairview (4-2) dropped a 9-8 decision to No. 7 Kent Denver on Monday. Sarah Caulkins scored six goals for the Sun Devils (2-2). Gabriella McCollester tallied five of the Knights’ eight goals.

Colorado Academy knocked Columbine from the top 10 with an 18-3 blitzing Monday, paced by Zoe Martin’s five goals and an assist. The Mustangs ripped Cherry Creek 16-2 on Thursday, with Addy Westerberg and Skylar May finishing with five points apiece.

Regis Jesuit has won four in a row after downing No. 9 Poudre School District 16-7 on Wednesday behind six goals and an assist from sophomore Maddie Jokerst. The Raiders (5-1) have allowed a combined 12 goals during the current streak, which began after an 11-7 loss to Valor Christian.

Class 4A

Golden’s victory over South on Thursday night keeps the Demons (5-0) as the lone unbeaten in the top 10. The game at Mead gives the team back-to-back contests against top-five opponents. The Mavericks (5-2) dropped a game over spring break in Illinois, but have outscored their last two opponents 34-6. The team’s only other loss was a one-point loss to No. 1 Castle View in the season opener. Mead defeated then-No. 10 Cherokee Trail last Saturday, with Sierra Ryan scoring five times and Allie Hartman going for three goals and five assists.

Speaking of the Sabercats (4-1), they have a showdown with No. 3 Evergreen next Thursday. The Cougars dropped back-to-back games to 5A Cherry Creek and ThunderRidge before edging Denver South 17-16 on Tuesday night. Freshman Ryn Gardner, who scored eight goals in the loss to the Grizzlies, found the back of the net six times against the Ravens. Averi Gardner added five goals and three assists. Ella Shofnos paced South with six goals and three assists.

Castle View downed defending state champion Green Mountain 16-8 on Thursday night.

No. 6 Thompson Valley (4-1) has won four in a row since falling to Evergreen in its opener. Junior Rory Carr is leading the Eagles with 24 goals.