Monument - Lewis-Palmer's best boys' lacrosse season in years came to a heartbreaking halt in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs on a cold, wet, rainy night Wednesday.
The No. 8 Rangers struggled with faceoffs, ground balls and possessions, as No. 9 Chaparral staged a mild upset 9-8 at Lewis-Palmer.
Chaparral killed off consecutive penalties and then scored twice seven seconds apart with 6:32 remaining to grab a 9-6 lead and put the game out of reach.
Trevor Orndoff scored with 6:39 left and after yet another draw win, the Wolverines made it a three-goal lead on Brett Boos' goal.
Boos was instrumental in making sure the Wolverines (11-5) would win draws, and L-P (14-2) expected that.
"That's Boos, excellent, highly recruited kid," said Rangers coach Dan Mullins, who had his team in the playoffs for the first time in his four seasons in charge of the program. "We knew we were going to have a tough time."
Chaparral faces No. 1 Cherry Creek on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Bruins dispatched of No. 16 Legend 15-5 on Tuesday.
The Rangers turned the ball over six times in the first half yet found themselves tied 4-4 at the half. In the second half, the Rangers turned the ball over on two man-advantage chances, while registering one shot in the same span.
They turned the ball over six times in the fourth and were held without a shot on goal for the first 9:16 of the second half.
"They just out-physicaled us really," Mullins said.
Yet somehow, the Rangers again got back in the game. They scored twice 41 seconds apart to make it 9-8 with 2:21 left. But Chaparral won the draw and ran time off the clock before both teams exchanged turnovers.
L-P had one chance left with less than 10 seconds remaining but couldn't get a shot on goal.
"We had a lot of possessions we needed to capitalize on but tonight it didn't work out," said senior Dalton Ziegler, who had a goal. "Turnovers did have a big effect, but Chaparral played a really good game."
Rangers goalie Ian Mullins kept the game close early in the third quarter, making four saves in less than four minutes - including a stellar one on Diego Luevanos from point-blank range.
The Rangers won their first league title under Dan Mullins this season. But they couldn't get a playoff win for him.
"It was really just everyone as a team, you can't really put it on one person," said Ian Mullins, who finished with 14 saves. "We're such a family, such a tight team. I don't know if you'll find 20 better friends anywhere in the state."