Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse returns to winning ways
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse team got back to work Monday, shaking off its first defeat of the season — Thursday’s 18-3 home loss against Aspen — with an 11-9 victory against Eagle Valley in Vail.
“I don’t really get hung up on how the team responds to losses,” said Sailor’s head coach Betsy Frick. “I really like to watch how the players respond in tight games, and we’ve had a bunch of one- or two-goal games this year. In those games, our players have kept their cool and kept their composure. They stuck to the game plan.”
But the Sailors also proved they can bounce back from a tough loss with Monday’s win against Eagle Valley.
“We played really good lacrosse, and were working together as a team,” Frick said. “We went down there knowing it was going to be competitive — a game that could have gone either way.”
The Sailors’ offense was led by Lucy Shimek, who scored her first goal off the opening draw only 11 seconds into the game, ultimately finishing the game with six goals. Riley Schott had four, and Cassett Yeager added one. Shimek also had two assists, while Schott and Yeager had one each. Eagle Valley was led by Camille Blose, who scored four goals, Jillian Byron with three and Lindsay Martinez with two.
Steamboat Ava Thiel had eight saves in goal, and Eagle Valley’s Erin Keenery had 10.
“It was a good overall team effort from start to finish,” Frick said. “Players did a good job of moving the ball, dealing with double and triple teams, picks, and rides when trying to move the ball out of our defensive end. Lucy (Shimek) did a great job with draws, and Steamboat won 18 of 22 draws. Having that amount of possessions off the draw takes a lot of pressure off of our defense.”
But the Sailors are sure to be back under pressure this weekend with scheduled games against Fruita Monument and Grand Junction.
Frick said she is currently attempting to move Friday’s game because of a conflict with the high school musical, which will leave her without six players for that game.
“Fruita should be a very competitive game,” Frick said. “But, as always, if we play well, we should have a good shot at winning.”
On Saturday, the Sailors will travel to face Grand Junction in what is measuring up to be the second big test of the season.
The Tigers have only played two games this season, but topped Summit 15-5 in the opener and Fruita Monument by the same margin in the second game. Frick said Grand Junction, along with Aspen and Battle Mountain, represent the top tier of league play. Those team’s bring the most experience and consistently strong teams to the field.
“Grand Junction is going to be tough,” the coach said.
She said Steamboat has made some big steps this year and has already improved on last year, when the team won only five games all season. But she is not sure if it has moved into the upper tier of the league yet.
“I think we were in the lower tier last year, and now, we are in a solid place in the middle tier,” Frick said. “I absolutely feel like this team could move into the upper tier at some point, but it would be asking a lot this season.
“We have 13 freshman on this team. Aspen has players that have four or six years of experience, and our players have one, two or maybe three. It’s not going to change overnight, but we are progressing getting more consistent, our skill levels are getting better and we have a better lacrosse IQ.”
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