It was, well, nasty. With the rain, cold, wind and thick cloud cover, conditions were miserable on a late Monday afternoon at Slater Field.
But even with a lopsided loss to host Colorado Academy by 17-2, Mullen girls lacrosse was simply thrilled to actually play a match. Why? It was two years to the day that the Mustangs last competed – they dropped a second-round playoff game to Cherry Creek on May 10, 2019 – and head coach Melynda Brown said she had 18 players in quarantine recently. Multiple games were postponed. And her team had all of one practice.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it looked like,” she said in assessing her team’s season debut.
No matter, she insisted, “the biggest thing is we’re out here playing.”
An inexperienced Mullen roster will be put to the test in 2021 and it happened to begin against Colorado’s reigning power. CA has won the past five championships – the new Season D also contains multiple classifications for the first time – and is on an unbelievable tear of 90-5. It won its 49th consecutive game since 2017 and 75th in a row against in-state foes since 2015.
CA quickly broke into double-figure goals in the first half as it led 11-1 and was never seriously challenged.
As for Mullen, Elise Bialecki and Charlie Beck found the back of the net – Mullen managed onky three shots -- and first-time goalie Lauren Krager did her best against near constant pressure, turning in seven saves.
“Being her first time ever playing goalie,” Brown said, “I was proud of her for not being scared of CA … You can see the trajectory (the CA players) shoot at and she did well.”
Also, because of the new season’s brisk pace set by ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well as the team’s mandatory idleness, it will be a busy week for Mullen. Cherry Creek will be at Mullen on Wednesday, May 12, 5:30 p.m., and Chaparral will host Mullen on Saturday, May 15.
“We had a lot of good things and a lot of bad things,” Brown said. “”We can get better (at Tuesday’s practice) and learn from our mistakes.”
COLORADO ACADEMY 17, MULLEN 2
Mullen 1 1 -- 2
Colorado Academy 11 6 -- 17
Mullen goals – Elise Bialecki, Charlie Beck.
Mullen assist – Claire Mochan.
Saves – Lauren Krager 7.