Sailors girls lacrosse edges Durango in triple overtime
Steamboat Springs — When Santa Fe Prep took the Steamboat Springs High School girls’ lacrosse team to overtime in their season opener in New Mexico, it was a big deal. The Sailors may have lost 16-15, but just getting to play in a sudden-death overtime period was a new experience for the group.
Little did the players know, they weren’t going to have to wait long to experience it again.
“It’s just a different pressure, different dynamic for a player,” SSHS coach Betsy Frick said. “It’s good for players to realize that. We need to work on handling that a little better than we did. We started to panic a little bit.”
Fortunately, that panic didn’t lead to collapse, and Saturday at Gardner Field, Steamboat was able to defeat visiting Durango 13-12 in triple overtime in both its conference and home opener.
Senior Becky Brown scored the game-winning goal in the third overtime period and had difficulty keeping her emotions in check after the game.
“That was so awesome. I’m so excited,” Brown said. “I personally just knew I had to go 100 percent all the time, because you are never going to get that win back if they score. It gets really intense. I feel like, sometimes, the pressure gets to you, but we kept it in check.”
The Sailors trailed 6-4 at halftime and again by two goals, at 7-5, early in the second half. But two quick goals — one each from freshman Lucy Shimek and junior Cassett Yeager — tied the game with 19 minutes to play.
It was a back-and-forth affair from there. Brown’s first goal, with eight minutes remaining, gave the Sailors a 10-9 lead. Durango quickly responded with two goals in about a minute to retake the lead, scoring again with less than four minutes to go.
Trailing by two goals, Steamboat freshman Alicia Mitchell closed the gap to within one with her goal at the 2:37 mark, and after numerous failed opportunities, junior Sammy Koepfer scored with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
“The girls played aggressive ‘D’ — they were going after ground balls,” Frick said. “They were working well together, so it was fun to watch.”
Steamboat controlled much of the first two overtime periods, but it took Brown’s solo effort in the first 30 seconds of the third overtime to put an end to the game.
“It’s a huge confidence builder,” Frick said of the win. “They have two super strong players, and then they have a bunch of up-and-coming players. (Durango) may not be quite as strong as they have been in the past, but it’s still awesome.”
Shimek led Steamboat with five goals, four coming in the second half. Six different players found net for the Sailors. Durango, now 0-2, was led by senior Shilo Gillen’s seven goals.
Steamboat (2-2) is off until 4 p.m. Wednesday, when it hosts Summit.
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