DENVER – Coming into the field hockey state championship game, Colorado Academy senior Zoe Martin had two objectives.

The first was to win the game and the second was to score her 100th career goal. Turns out she got two for the price of one.

Her goal with 1:55 left in the first half was all the Mustangs needed as they beat Cherry Creek 1-0 to capture their second field hockey state championship in a row.

“It feels awesome,” Martin said. “[We were} building up my freshman and sophomore year and winning my junior and senior year has been amazing. This team is everything I can imagine. It’s been an amazing season.”

And it all culminated with a win over the team that was considered the second-best in the state by tournament seeding standards. The Bruins pressed into the offensive zone for a good chunk of the first half as they sought their first field hockey title since 2007. But any shot they put on net, Jessica Lapidus did a great job of turning it away.

The best looking chance for either team came late in the second quarter off a short corner. CA’s Lilly Hall got the ball onto Martin’s stick and she fired it by Creek goalie Megan Rosenthall.

In the second half, anytime Creek tried to press the offensive attack, the Mustangs swarmed the ball to force a turnover and keep pushing on the offensive side.

“They came out wanting this game,” coach Veronica Scott said. “They were dominating just by their presence on the field. Our game plan was to double team and step up. We said as soon as Creek gets the ball and looks up, they’re only allowed to see white.”

That’s exactly how the midfielders and defenders operated and Creek was limited in its offensive chances for the rest of the night. And with a 1-0 lead and Lapidus standing in front of the net, finding that equalizer proved too difficult.

“Still, I would’ve liked another goal,” Scott said. “A team like Creek, you can never underestimate. All they need is one breakaway and they have potential. We just had to keep the pressure and don’t give them any opportunities.”

This is the first time the Mustangs have won consecutive state titles since they rattled off four straight from 2012-15. In between state championship wins from Kent Denver, Palmer Ridge and Regis Jesuit the Mustangs won one back in 2019.

This state championship is the eighth in program history and the Mustangs now sit just two state titles behind Kent Denver for the most in state history. But to get there, they’ll have to do it without Martin. As she reflected on her career milestone and, more importantly, a major team accomplishment, she’ll think of her time at Colorado Academy fondly.

“I’m going to miss how much everyone loves each other,” Martin said. “Everyone is so connected. These are my best friends and I hang out with them pretty much every day.”

Colorado Academy loses 10 seniors off this roster, but Scott is excited about the juniors and some of the freshmen coming through a program. And if history is any indicator, this is a team has no problem reloading and getting in a position to contend for titles in the future.