Victory at Durango keeps boys undefeated |

Victory at Durango keeps boys undefeated

Steamboat Springs' Eric Trousil, left, looks downfield past defense from Durango's Dane Bier on Saturday, in the Sailors' 11-3 win against the Demons.
Courtesy Photo

— The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team got another first look at a new conference rival Saturday, beating Durango, 11-3, at DHS Stadium to move to 6-0 in the Mountain Conference.

“We’ve been playing very well,” Sailors head coach Bob Hiester said. “The kids have done a good job basically in all phases of the game. They’re playing together pretty well. Good team stuff.”

Playing with a number of JV players bumped up to varsity, DHS got early pressure against the Sailors but couldn’t line up a clear shot. Then Steamboat settled in.

Tyler Samlowski charged around the left post unchallenged to score the first, and then Gus Worden exploited the Demons’ Swiss-cheese zone seconds later by finding Jack Spady in front for a one-time finish.

DHS forwards gave their defense a brief respite when Demon midfielder Jamie Hards set up Dane Bier for a hard shot that clanged off the post, but it was back to business for the Sailors after the near miss.

Garret Ehrick scored off a Chase Grippa pass, and Brian Bertrand took advantage of another DHS defensive miscommunication by the post to sneak in and net Steamboat’s fourth.

The Demons finally broke through in spectacular fashion, when Hards caught a Kendall Murphy pass by the left post and managed to squeeze his shot through a tight window while absorbing a hard hit from the Sailor defense.

Steamboat’s Erik Owen answered with a highlight of his own, however, jumping, catching and shooting a high pass from Andrew White for an alley-oop goal.

Worden snagged a loose ball for a freebie wraparound to push the lead to 6-1 before the break.

The lax defensive play continued for the Demons in the second, conceding five consecutive scores in the blink of an eye.

Whether it was improved communication, less-motivated competition, better conditioning, or a combination of all those factors, the Demons finally put the hammer down at 11-1.

Moving it effectively at the offensive end, DHS got a tally from Bier, who cut through the center of the defense and scored on a low, hard shot from 15 feet.

Cory Kerns made a series of body stops in the DHS net to end the third, likely earning a few bumps and bruises for the effort.

Murphy recorded the game’s final goal, cutting in front of the left post – Steamboat Springs style – and beating the keeper low.

Unlike Steamboat, Durango is a club-turned-varsity squad in its first season as a Colorado High School Activities Association member.

Hiester is glad his inexperienced team could switch to the new conference.

“This is going to become a very good conference,” Heister said. “It’s a much more level playing field. In the Front Range, we were playing teams like Fort Collins (Unified), who went to the state finals. There’s some real mismatches in there.

“This is nice, to be playing teams that have some of the same situations we have,” Heister said. “Little mountain towns that don’t have competition up close, long bus rides and all that.”

Steamboat travels to play Battle Mountain at 3 p.m. Tuesday, one of just two teams the Sailors have played before this season.

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