Streaky Sailors get big win
9-0 run puts Steamboat on top of Grand Junction
Steamboat Springs — Three full games remained in the season, and, no matter the outcome of the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team’s Tuesday night home showdown against Grand Junction, a world of possibilities was still attainable.
But, when the Tigers scored the first two goals of the game for an early lead against the Sailors, there was a moment where it all seemed at stake.
Steamboat bounced back from a rough stretch in the season and a rough start to the game Tuesday night, scoring nine straight goals to take control, then beat Grand Junction, 11-6.
That streak, which lead to a 9-2 lead, might well have been a season saver.
“This was definitely a turning point,” Steamboat junior Matt White said. “Our team definitely put it together. We were playing as a team.”
Steamboat entered the game having lost two of three and four times this spring, the most regular season losses it’s had since 2011. It’s struggled mostly against the state’s elite, those four losses all coming against the top-four ranked teams in the most recent CHSSANow.com poll.
Grand Junction doesn’t figure into that group, but, with a 6-3 record, it presented a major challenge, and up 2-0 early in the game, a true test of wills for the Sailors.
White had four goals and two assists. Willy Gunn scored three times and had an assist, while Jackson Draper scored twice and had one assist. Andrew Firestone, Zach Rosa, Sam Rossman and Nick Simon each had one.
Nine of those goals came consecutively, a stretch in which Steamboat looked as sharp as it has all season.
“There was a good vibe around the team,” coach Jay Lattimore said. “That might have been the prettiest lacrosse we’ve played. It was great.”
Steamboat’s path doesn’t get easy from here. The Sailors celebrate senior night at 4 p.m. Thursday against Glenwood Springs, another solid team with a 6-3 record. Evergreen, 4-5, awaits after that, then the regular season closes with a trip to Battle Mountain, the sixth-ranked team in the state and, with a 7-2 record, a squad having one of its best regular seasons in program history.
The Huskies have never beaten Steamboat, however.
If the Sailors can keep it that way and beat its other two remaining opponents, it could still figure into the top half of the playoff bracket.
If that were to happen, players could look back to Tuesday’s 9-0 to find where things may have started.
“If we didn’t win this game, we might not have made playoffs,” White said. “The team seemed down before the game, but now we have our energy back.
“If we can play like we know how, and we can get Mitch (McCannon) back from injury, we can click. We could win a state championship.”
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Marissa Martindale wasn’t sure if she would be able to compete in the Colorado High School Activities Association Track and Field State Championships after rolling her ankle on Monday, May 16.