Ready and hungry: Steamboat girls lacrosse opens 2023 with a winning attitude |

Ready and hungry: Steamboat girls lacrosse opens 2023 with a winning attitude

Anna Rushton, a now-junior on the Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse team, hustles down the sideline during a 13-4 loss to Eagle Valley on April 6. Steamboat Springs went 3-12 in 2022 but looks to stay positive and win more in 2023.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse has an infectious huddle this spring, and the team expects to win some games this year.

Head coach Liz Diefendorf has seen the potential over the past three seasons as an assistant coach. As she takes the reins for the first time, she thinks the Sailors’ winning ways are about to begin. 

“I truly believe it and I think they do too,” Diefendorf said. “We’re ready and we’re hungry.”

This season the Sailors roster features a junior-heavy group, along with some great senior leaders, to set the tone and be role models for the younger athletes. 

Furthermore, Diefendorf is proud of the way the girls have overcome adversity over the years. Transportation and weather challenges have always presented themselves, and this year’s seniors missed out on their freshman season due to the pandemic. 

Most of all, Diefendorf is impressed with the way the girls have stayed respectful and classy no matter what the scoreboard shows. The team struggled last season, winning just three games and never finding its groove on the field, but that could change this year.

“I think we are a very strong defensive team, so we really pride ourselves in the positive culture and togetherness we have,” Diefendorf said. “We win as a team, we lose as a team, and with that, I’m super proud of the girls for always maintaining their composure.”

Steamboat Springs now-junior Caroline Wittlinger eyes the ball and stays in front of her opponent during a girls lacrosse game against Aspen on May 7, 2022. The Sailors will look to take advantage of their strong defense in 2023 and get back to their winning ways.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Diefendorf plans to implement an emphasis on maintaining a strong team culture and chemistry among the girls. She enjoys the energy her players are bringing to the field with a positive and optimistic look at everything. 

This season, the Sailors will operate under a three-captain system, with two permanent captains and one rotating captain who will be selected by the coaches periodically to recognize a player who has put in extra effort on and off the field. 

Diefendorf said the girls are extremely excited to get the season going. Steamboat’s home opener will be against Summit on Tuesday, March 14. 

Two of the Sailors’ three wins last season came against Summit, meaning this could be an opportunity for the girls to start the year on the right foot against a league opponent. 

Diefendorf said she wants the Sailors to come out aggressive from the start in this game and grow some internal confidence for the beginning of the season. She expects to see improvement from last year. 

“We are hopeful to win some more league games this year,” Diefendorf said. “We’re taking it game by game but hoping to come out strong and be a first-half team and start with momentum.”

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