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Slow start sinks Sailors

— The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team pieced together a fourth-quarter rally Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to give the Sailors the edge in their first big test of the new season.

Steamboat lost playing at home against Valor Christian, 13-8.

“Valor was hustling really well and won a lot of faceoffs, which really set us behind,” Steamboat coach Jay Lattimore said. “The guys came out a little hyperactive, thinking they needed to play faster and harder than they really needed to. After that, it transitioned into a good ball game.”



The game was just the latest chapter in what’s become a heated rivalry between the two programs. Valor came back from a big deficit to win in Steamboat Springs two years ago and beat the Sailors in overtime during the regular season last year. Then, Steamboat won a playoff quarterfinals matchup between the teams.


For at least a few moments of the fourth quarter it appeared Tuesday’s game may be another thrilling chapter in the story. Steamboat trailed 5-1 after the first quarter but cut that to 6-3 by halftime.



Willy Gunn scored one of his three goals to make it 9-7 early in the fourth.
At their best, Steamboat possessed the ball and was patient, waiting for a good opportunity. It took advantage of man-up opportunities, especially in the fourth quarter.

One came after Gunn’s goal as Andrew Firestone took a pass directly in front of Valor’s goalie then deposited it over his shoulder to pull the Sailors within one with more than eight minutes remaining.

When Steamboat wasn’t at its best, it struggled to keep Valor away from the ball. The Sailors gave up turnovers and, in time, goals.

That’s what defined those final eight minutes.

Valor got three quick goals in the three minutes that followed Firestone’s strike to pull away from Steamboat. It added one more with less than three minutes remaining to ice away the Sailors’ hopes of one last rally.

“It’s a big win. They knocked us out of the playoffs last year, so it means a lot to us to come out and win,” said Valor sophomore Grayson Goodyear, who had four goals in the game. “The games last year were really intense. They were really intense, and we always battled really hard. It’s just a great rivalry between us.”

Sean Traynor also had four for Valor. Don Provhost and Dalton Ziegler each had two, and Cole Baker had one.

Firestone scored twice for Steamboat while Spencer Petersen, Drew Williamson and Jackson Draper all had one.

“I think it’s great for this young team to taste defeat early in the season,” Lattimore said. “We can take a lot of our mistakes and work to improve them.”

Steamboat, 1-1, is back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday on the road against Douglas County High School.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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