Sailors girls lacrosse wins again, knocks off Fruita, 12-8 |

Sailors girls lacrosse wins again, knocks off Fruita, 12-8

Steamboat's Sammie Cline races down the field Thursday against Fruita Monument. The Sailors lacrosse team won the game, 12-8.

— The progress on Thursday was in what wasn't there for the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team not what was.

The Sailors were sharp when they needed to be, pulling ahead 7-4 by half then away in the second to beat Fruita Monument, 12-8, a comfortable win. Steamboat, a varsity program in only its second year and enjoying a breakout season, didn't finish the game with a great celebration or huge cheer.

Instead, after exchanging congratulations, the Sailors moved beyond what became a two-game winning streak and focused on Friday's trip to Battle Mountain.

"We fit in this league. We have every chance in the world to beat nearly any team in the league," Steamboat's Emily Spiess said. "We even came into the season hoping to win a game or two, but we really are showing we're a threat. "

Steamboat, 4-5, continued to offer coach Betsy Frick plenty to like and enough to critique.

On the positive side was another balanced scoring attack, at least more balanced than was indicative of the team's first games of the season.

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Slightly dinged up, senior scoring leader Nikki Fry was bumped to deep attack from her typical role in the center. She, of course, took advantage, scoring six times, half of her team's goals. She poured in four straight to give her team the lead early in the game after Aleigh Aurin scored to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Aurin finished with two, and Jessie Wallace, Hanna Hartley, Spiess and Sammie Cline each scored once.

"We could have done better on shot selection, but in general, we are maturing as a team and people are sliding better. They're talking better, getting open better and doing a better job of making good cuts to get open," Frick said. "It's fun to watch. It's fun when you're talking to the players about strategy and relatively minor points as opposed to really big-picture things."

The key to the victory, according to the Sailors, is winning possession and maintaining possession. Never was the payoff more obvious than late in the game. Steamboat surged early in the second half, but Fruita tried to answer and pulled the game within three with 5 minutes, 17 seconds remaining.

Fry grabbed the ball after that goal, and the Sailors maintained possession, ensuring there would be no dramatic comeback.

"We were playing a little smarter on defense than we usually do. We were talking. Everything just really meshed today," Spiess said. "That's really the way the game should be played. It was great."

Now the test is turning that into a strong showing against Battle Mountain, which dominated a meeting late last month, 14-3.

"We have to play exactly like we did today," Spiess said. "We need that draw control especially. They're great in the midfield, so we need to keep that up."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email