Saturday’s stakes huge for Steamboat boys lacrosse after big Friday win
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team unleashed an offensive onslaught Friday on senior night against Vail Christian, winning 16-2, and with all those goals came an opportunity the team has relished since the midway point of the season: A chance to play for the league championship and a top seed in the Class 4A state playoffs.
The Sailors will face off against Battle Mountain at 11 a.m. Saturday at home hoping to avenge a 5-4 triple overtime loss to the Huskies earlier the season.
There’s no denying the stakes.
“It’s almost the biggest game of the season,” senior David Petersen said. “Today was important because it was senior day, but tomorrow’s way more important because it’s pretty much the fate of our season.”
Steamboat’s now 11-3 on the season and ranked No. 5 in the most recent CHSAANow.com poll as it prepares to play host to Battle Mountain, 11-2 and No. 8 in the rankings.
Goal differential will decide the league champ if the Sailors win, and considering the tight margin when the teams first met, it’s extremely likely Saturday’s game will decide where each team sits.
The game’s about more than league standings, too. Steamboat’s currently ranked No. 3 in the state’s RPI rankings and Battle Mountain is No. 5. Those rankings will be used to select and seed the state tournament, so the winner is likely in line for a top-four position and, in turn, two home playoff games.
Steamboat lost a grinding, defensive showdown in the first matchup. What it’s looking for this time is that same defense with more of the offense the team has uncorked in the recent weeks.
“Our defense played great and our offense got a lot of shots but just didn’t score a lot,” Steamboat coach Jay Lattimore said. “Their defense played really well, too. It was a very defensively heavy game all around. Hopefully we can take advantage of playing at home, plus our offense has been a different unit since that game, so we’re just hungry to get back after it.”
The squad hasn’t given up more than six goals in a game since mid-March and at the same time has averaged 16 goals a game since the loss at Battle Mountain.
A performance from Steamboat like Friday’s would be plenty against Battle.
Davis Petersen scored five goals to lead the team, pushing him to 45 goals on the season and bumping him to ninth in the state across all divisions.
He got plenty of help.
Tyler Doyne scored twice while Tallak Mhyre, Kieran Hahn, Jackson Lynch, Mac Moody, David LaPointe, Curtis Maltby, Ben Hoefer and Matthew Kempers each scored once, 10 players for 16 goals.
Combined with another stellar defensive showing, it added up to enough to give Steamboat a huge home opportunity in its home finale.
“These boys did everything they could to make it a big game tomorrow,” Lattimore said. “The conference championship is on the line, so it’s a great position to be in at the end of the season.”
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