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Boys lacrosse: Modica, Fairview blaze past Boulder

Mar. 21—Fairview coach Matthew Kelley is mulling over how to best harness standout sophomore Kai Modica's lightning speed on the lacrosse field.

"Kai has speed, some of the fastest stop-start speed in the state," he said. "We've been trying to figure out how to take advantage of that."

The possibilities were in frame in Thursday night's 16-8 win over crosstown rival Boulder, as the speedster otherwise wasn't contained at Christian Recht Field, scoring four times in Fairview's sixth straight win of the series.

"I'm never stopping working on that speed," Modica said. "I go out to the field as much as I can to work on it with my dad. It's probably the biggest part of my game."

For a second straight year, Boulder had no answer for Modica, who, after scoring four against the Panthers as a freshman, twisted them into knots once again.

He scored the game's first goal off a turnover deep in Boulder's zone 5 minutes, 32 seconds into the first quarter, and Fairview (1-4) led the rest of the way for its first win of the year.

But, really, his speed was better displayed a bit later on. Midway through the second, he ran a giant loop in the attacking third, leaving the defense unbalanced as he powered up the middle for an uncontested look. Then, shortly after halftime, his last goal was more of the same, as he punched the middle — and past everyone — for his sixth goal of the year.

He hopes it'll help get the offense going: the Knights' 16 goals in the win matched their entire output through their first four games.

"We've gotten off to a slow start offensively," Modica said. "Tonight was a good night to get a handle on that. Tonight helped us get a little more comfortable."

Modica also had three assists for the Knights, while Alec Diamond and Kalen Carlyle each added three goals.

The Knights showed off their depth at goalie — with junior starter Sam Rich going two-plus frames before he was relieved.

For now, Kelley said Rich — last year's full-time starter — has the edge. Though, junior Jackson Viverito and freshman Kiran Ellison aren't far behind.

"It's a cool feeling having goalies competing versus, where you have one guy and the backup is so far behind," Kelley said. "It's cool. It's really cool."

Fairview's first win of the spring came after it played Class 4A state runner-up Erie tight in a 4-3 loss in its opener. The Knights went on to lose three more amid a tough schedule before moving to 12-3 against the Panthers since 2008.

Junior Nick Norris scored four goals in the loss for the Panthers (1-2), who haven't beaten the Knights since 2016, getting outscored 75-36 over the span.

"We played a really hard game. Played whole as a team, but we started to break down close to the end," Norris said. "We just got to stay cohesive the whole way."

Fairview is home against Arvada West on April 8. Boulder is at Fruita Monument on Tuesday.