“One of the highlights of my life:” Hahn’s winner lifts Steamboat boys lacrosse in overtime
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Conifer High School boys lacrosse coach Dak Riecke said his team had studied Steamboat Springs on film and when the Lobos and Sailors met Wednesday in Steamboat, they knew what to stop: The most skilled Sailors from curling around the back of the net to work in the alleys in front of the goal.
“We talked about it all week,” Riecke said. “We saw it on film. We knew they’d run with that, but they run it perfectly.”
Conifer did it well for much of the game, too, the right players collapsing to help at the right times and the whole defense holding down Steamboat’s big guns. It was crucial to the Lobos taking a two-goal lead into the final 45 seconds of the Class 4A first-round state playoff game.
The persistence with which Conifer had defended all game broke down in those waning seconds, however. Steamboat got a goal from its leading scorer, Davis Petersen, kept in check all day, with 36 seconds to go, then another as time expired, tying the game.
The Sailors then put it away in overtime, 13-12, with junior Kieran Hahn’s game-winning 15-foot strike into the lower left corner of the goal, a shot that capped a wild comeback, that instigated a mad rush of Steamboat players and coaches onto the field and that sent the Sailors to the state tournament’s quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Friday in Golden.
The goals came just where the Lobos had schemed and worked so hard to prevent them.
“I got open off a pick. He saw me and, one on one, I knew I had it,” said Hahn, dripping and cold after his teammates doused him with the team’s water coolers.
“It was crazy,” he said. “That’s definitely going to be one of the highlights of my life.”
It took four improbable plays for that celebration to even be possible.
Petersen has been in the top 10 in the state all season in scoring and has nearly three times as many goals on the season as anyone else on the team. He wasn’t effective in Steamboat’s 11-8 regular-season finale loss last week to rival Battle Mountain, and he wasn’t effective for much of Wednesday’s game.
Conifer locked him down with senior Kyle Curtis.
Petersen still shot. One fourth-quarter rocket missed the goal by perhaps an inch and other skimmed by as well or tucked into the net of goalie Ryan Lindsay.
But, he didn’t connect regularly until every second became critical.
Steamboat, plagued by penalties for much of the second half, got a man-up advantage with about 90 seconds to go and Petersen capitalized to cut the Lobos lead to one. Hahn won the ensuing face-off and the Sailors worked to earn a point-blank shot only miss, a save from Lindsay with six seconds remaining.
Steamboat brought the ball back in play and got it right to Petersen who quickly fired on net and tied the game as time expired.
“It’s been tough these last few games this season, but I don’t let it get to my head,” Petersen said. “There was nothing that was going to stop me from going to the goal and shooting and scoring. I wasn’t missing again.”
The Sailors got one more decisive play from goalie Zach Miller, who notched an overtime save and got his team the ball back. Hahn put his goal away on that possession to end the game.
Senior Nick Williams scored five to lead Conifer. Seniors Mark Studer and Kyle Butler and sophomore Braden Lindsay had two each and senior Cole Hollander scored one.
“Of course you walk away a little upset,” Riecke said of his Lobos, the No. 12 seed in the tournament to Steamboat’s No. 5. “We have a great group of seniors who worked hard all year, but this is something we can build off for next year. Hopefully, this will raise everyone’s hopes and they’ll know we can play with anyone in the state.”
Steamboat got three each from Hahn, Petersen and Jackson Lynch, plus two from Jacob Gilbertson and one each from David LaPointe and Tyler Doyne.
“There was a moment there these kids felt like their season was over and they didn’t want that to happen without a fight,” Steamboat coach Jay Lattimore said. “They just didn’t give up, even with six seconds left when they could have been mad they missed that opportunity. They were satisfied and they got one more shot.”
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