Sailors boys lax gets back to ‘fun,’ thrashes visiting Fruita Monument |

Sailors boys lax gets back to ‘fun,’ thrashes visiting Fruita Monument

— When the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team is having fun, you definitely know it.

The scoreboard usually flickers with a double-digit Sailors lead, reserve players are getting whoops and hollers of encouragement from the starters and the Steamboat sideline is as raucous as any in the conference.

The sideline party was in full effect on Saturday at Gardner Field as the Sailors methodically dismantled visiting Fruita Monument — a school nearly triple Steamboat’s size — by a score of 14-5.

The sideline mood was black and white compared to Steamboat’s Thursday-night win over Summit, a one-goal victory that probably shouldn’t have been nearly that close.

“I think the team just came together more and said, ‘Let’s win, but let’s also have fun doing it,’” Steamboat senior Willy Gunn said. “It takes a lot of pressure off each and every guy. It really helps the whole team synergy, I’d say. We decided we’re going to be a good team and have fun doing it.”

The Sailors (5-2 overall, 3-0 Mountain Conference) started hot and kept the foot on the gas pedal for the most part Saturday. Steamboat launched out to a 4-1 first-quarter lead and held on to a 5-2 halftime gap. The third quarter proved to be huge as the Sailors outgunned the Wildcats, 6-1, over the 12-minute stretch en route to the eventual nine-goal victory.

Senior attack Andrew Firestone again went to work against Fruita Monument, tossing in a game-high five goals. Gunn followed up with four scores, three coming during that red-hot third-quarter stretch.

“Our attack is just becoming more of a team,” Gunn said. “It’s starting to look like last year’s attack. We know each other better and know what we want to do, and we’re killing it.”

And with the onslaught of second-half goals, things got chippy on the field, most of it stemming from the Wildcats’ pair of bruising defenders in Gage Hagerman and Leslie Morgan. As Gunn explained, when you’re having fun, the other sideline doesn’t like it.

“This wasn’t our first big win, but it was a whole team win,” Gunn said. “It got a little chippy, but with every goal comes a little more chippiness and it bands our team together.”

Outside of Firestone and Gunn, Noah Bass, Matt White, Drew Williamson, Spencer Petersen and Joe Borgerding got in on the scoring action, marking one of Steamboat’s most well-rounded attacking games of the season.

And on the other end of the field, Steamboat’s defenders rarely gave the Wildcats much breathing room, making it a relatively easy day for goalies Aaron VanderGraaff and Connor Smith.

“We took a lot of time in practice to just mellow out and refocus after Thursday,” Steamboat junior defenseman Jordan Gorr said. “We were talking well together and just working as a group.”

On Tuesday, the Sailors travel to league rival Aspen, the only team to hand them a regular-season conference loss a year ago, a loss that forced Steamboat to share the championship. Faceoff is at 4 p.m. at Aspen High School.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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