Steamboat boys lacrosse notches win against No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A challenging schedule has left the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team plenty tested this spring. In its 10 games heading into Saturday this season, the Sailors had tangled with five different teams that have been ranked in the top 10 at chsaanow.com at some point and three that currently are.
Win those games or lose them, that schedule will do the team good when it comes to making the postseason as its a huge boost to Steamboat’s postseason-deciding RPI ranking. That’s good for the Sailors because entering Saturday’s home game against Cheyenne Mountain, ranked No. 3 in the state, the Sailors had lost each of its previous three games against those current top-10 teams.
It changed the story in the fourth.
The Sailors controlled the middle portions of Saturday’s game to build a big lead, then were able to hang on against a furious Indians comeback, pulling out a crucial nonconference win, 7-6.
“This late in the season, you want to take care of teams that are top five in the state like Cheyenne Mountain is,” Steamboat coach Jay Lattimore said.
Steamboat hit its high tide early in the fourth quarter.
The Sailors got out to a fast start as senior Davis Petersen scored Steamboat’s first three goals. It took a 4-2 lead into halftime after senior David LaPointe rocketed in a shot from 20 yards out.
They kept that pace up in the second half. Junior Kieran Hahn put away a hard-earned goal, going to the ground with the ball and battling his way back up before letting loose a shot with the defense tight on him, to make it 5-2, and Jackson Lynch followed that up with another tough score. Finally, LaPointe scored again from deep, another nearly 20-yard cannon blast, for a 7-2 lead.
“I was just hoping for a shot,” LaPointe said of that dagger. “We had a lot of possessions and that helped a lot, and our defense was on point.”
LaPointe’s second strike came early in that fourth quarter, and the team led by five goals. What could possibly go wrong?
Lots, as it turned out.
Cheyenne Mountain managed to dominate possession late in the game. It scored its first second-half goal with 8 minutes, 43 seconds remaining, then added three more in the next 2:30, cutting Steamboat’s lead to just one.
The Sailors got several big late saves from goalie Zach Miller, however, and some big stops on defense, just enough to slow the Indians’ momentum and to preserve the team’s best win of the season.
“This one means a lot,” LaPointe said. “We needed that. We worked better as a team and started off the game strong and fast.”
Steamboat played a decidedly front-loaded schedule this season. After packing as many as five games into 10 games last month, the team now has three games in the next three weeks to finish off its regular season schedule. It’s back in action Thursday at home against Glenwood Springs, then at home against May 3 against Vail Mountain. Finally, it finishes its regular season May 5 at home against Battle Mountain, the only remaining team on the schedule with a winning record and one of those three top-10 teams the Sailors lost to earlier in the spring.
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