McCarthy’s last-second goal helps Sailors lacrosse clip Huskies for 2nd time this season
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs sophomore Julia McCarthy waited until the last possible second to score in Monday’s game against the Battle Mountain Huskies at Gardner Field.
“She is our go-to for game-winners,” Steamboat junior Lucy Shimek said.
Shimek hit McCarthy with a pass that set up the final goal in Monday’s 10-9 thriller over the visiting Huskies. The goal was followed by a celebration for the girls in the white, red and black uniforms that included lots of hugging as they left the field.
There was also a sense of confidence that McCarthy was meant to come through in these sort of games. Before the break, she scored a game-winner with just 15 seconds left to beat Grand Junction in a 15-14 contest. It was the first time that Steamboat had ever beaten the Grand Junction team.
“I kind of thought it was coming to me, because I was wide open,” McCarthy said. “I had no idea that there were zero seconds left. I wasn’t looking at the clock.”
The goal came after Battle Mountain, a team that beat the Sailors 12 straight times before this season, turned the ball over behind the Steamboat goal with fewer than 20 seconds remaining, and the game tied 9-9. The Huskies had been trolling for the shot that would put the game away, but Steamboat got one final chance when two Battle Mountain players collided in traffic behind the net, and the ball bounced out of bounds.
Steamboat’s Kelly Strotbeck was able to move the ball upfield and completed a pass to Shimek who sprinted past midfield with fewer than 10 seconds left on the clock.
“I would have been too late if I tried to run down the field,” Shimek said. “I knew I needed to make the pass if we had any chance.”
Her pass had just enough of an arc to clear the lone Battle Mountain defender, who had a chance of breaking the play up, and found McCarthy’s stick as she stood in front of the Battle Mountain goal. She may not have known how much time was left, but she made quick work of finding the back of the net.
“I was just happy that Kelly (Strotbeck) kept it together. She waited until the pass was open, and it wasn’t going to get intercepted.” Shimek said. “I didn’t even see the clock. I knew, obviously, that it was winding down.”
The game had been tight from the start, and neither team ever held a decisive advantage.
Steamboat’s Isa DeMorat had three goals (including the first two of the game) and an assist. Riley Schott had three goals and two assists. Shimek had two goals and an assist. Katie Lake also had a goal. Battle Mountain’s Maggie Berger had three goals, Katie Kessenich had two and Julia Heid, Natalie Berger, Alex Carey and Marti Schmidt each had one. The game was tied 4-4 at the half and was a back-and-fourth battle until the buzzer sounded.
“There is always a chance in lacrosse,” Steamboat coach Betsy Frick said. “Things can swing. They scored two or three goals in like 20 seconds on us. Things can swing fast.”
The win, the Sailors’ second this season against Battle Mountain, improves the Sailors’ record to 6-7 headed into the final two games of the season. Steamboat will travel to Eagle Valley on Wednesday and finish the regular season against Palmer on Friday.
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