Sailors fall to Cougars in OT
Stick penalty leads to emotional loss
Steamboat Springs — It’s a mistake that only happens once in a lacrosse player’s career.
At the end of each quarter when the referee comes to pick one stick from each team, players sweat bullets as the ref makes sure no pocket is too deep or stick head too pinched. The penalty is a three-minute, non-releasable eternity in the box.
The Steamboat Springs boys team had an illegal stick penalty come at a bad time during its close Saturday game against Evergreen, who was able to capitalize on the penalty with two goals.
Steamboat fought back to tie the game and send it to overtime, but fell, 5-4.
Having suffered a similar fate last year with Evergreen, Steamboat came out hungry for a win.
“We played as hard and as tough of lacrosse as this team has ever played,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said.
It took the Sailors a little while to get going. After a slow start that put them down, 2-0, Steamboat evened the score and headed into the half tied.
The Steamboat attackmen turned it on in the second half. Tyler Ostrom beat his man behind the goal and scored to gain the lead. But then the “killer” of a penalty put Steamboat back in the hole. The attack rode the Evergreen defense to create a loose ball situation, where Chase Grippa fed Jasper Gantick on the crease for the tying, fourth-quarter goal.
With long-stick midfielder Zach Ruppel on faceoffs, Steamboat secured the first overtime possession, but failed to finish its shot, only to have Evergreen bring the ball down and find a seam in the Steamboat defense for the winning goal.
“It’s a tough, tough loss when we played hard enough to win, but just made a couple of crucial errors,” Hiester said. “It hurt to play that hard and do everything but win.”
Scot Forney had 19 saves in the game. Grippa and Gus Worden also scored for Steamboat and Alex Palaniuk and Jack Spady each had an assist.
Steamboat (3-7) plays its final home game of the season (rescheduled from April 7) at 4:30 p.m., Monday against Englewood (1-8) at Gardner Field.
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Work to form a new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District will start next week with the first sessions of a listening tour aimed at getting broad community feedback.