A team to remember: Steamboat boys lacrosse falls in state quarterfinal
The No. 4 Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse had a dominant season in which the Sailors lost just two regular season games and powered their way to the state quarterfinal on Tuesday night, May 16, against No. 5 Evergreen.
Though Steamboat junior Finn Rodgers was first to score, the visiting Cougars put up an aggressive offensive assault to win the game 10-5 and eliminate the Sailors from the playoffs.
These two teams clashed in the first round of playoffs last season with the same result. Senior Ethan Hoy said he and his teammates knew what was coming and did everything they could to get an advantage.
“They pick up really heavy, play outside the box on defense and we knew that from last year and we saw some film,” Hoy said. “We were told the only way to beat pressure was to keep more pressure on them, so we tried that and it worked pretty good for the first half but they went away with it.”
A low scoring first half led to a one-point deficit in favor of Evergreen. Coming out of the break, it was Evergreen who got hot fast and scored five goals in the 12-minute third quarter.
By that point, any Steamboat momentum was futile.
The team shared an emotional moment in the huddle following the game. Many considered the group a family.
“These are my best friends in the whole world, I love them all,” Hoy said. “It is going to be tough to let this team go, but I am super glad I was able to play this season with them, pretty much all my best friends from every sport, and we kicked (butt).”
The Sailors ended the season with just three losses all year. This was their first loss in over a month.
“They are a real special group of boys,” coach Brian Rodgers said. “They worked their tails off and I think they surprised themselves with what they accomplished this year.”
Steamboat held the top spot in the 4A Western league and averaged over 11 goals per game.
Brian Rodgers praised his senior players for the role they all played on the team this year. Without them, the Sailors would not have been the powerhouse they were all season.
“That senior class did everything we asked them to do,” Brian Rodgers said. “They led by example, led by their presence in the locker room, led by their play on the field and when you have a senior class doing that, good things happen.”
Evergreen 10, Steamboat Springs 5
E 2 1 5 2
SS 1 1 3 0
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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