SSHS boys lacrosse rallies for win in season opener
Steamboat Springs — On a team full of experienced upperclassmen, there is always an element of surprise when one of the younger players steps up to take control of a game when it matters most.
That’s just what Davis Petersen did for the Steamboat Springs High School boys’ lacrosse team in its season opener Saturday against Fruita Monument.
“It was nice,” SSHS lacrosse coach Jay Lattimore said. “Sophomore Davis Petersen earned his keep today. He came up and played like a senior. That’s huge to see a young guy like him do that.”
Petersen, who wasn’t a varsity player as a freshman, scored the season’s first goal and was the catalyst to a strong finish that allowed Steamboat, No. 7 in Class 4A, to rally from behind in a 12-8 win over Fruita Monument at Gardner Field.
“We started off hot with some tic-tac-toe goals, but then, we kind of slowed down in the second quarter,” Petersen said. “It was really a matter of not finishing our shots. The goalie was playing lights out in the second quarter, and it was really hard to put any in the back of the net.”
The Sailors raced out to a 3-0 lead behind a goal from Petersen and two from senior Drew Williamson. But a goal by the Wildcats in the final minute of the first quarter was the beginning of Steamboat’s temporary undoing.
Williamson tacked on a goal midway through the second quarter, but that was all the Sailors could muster for a quarter and a half. Fruita Monument led 5-4 midway through the game.
“Lacrosse is all about momentum, so we kind of came out, and they did a great job of answering,” Lattimore said. “Fortunately, the team with the momentum at the end of the game usually wins it, so the guys did great at keeping their heads up and keeping their eye on the goal.”
The Sailors showed no fight early in the second half, falling behind 7-4 with momentum against them. Senior Jackson Draper ended the dry spell with a goal midway through the third quarter, and Williamson scored his fourth barely 40 seconds later to cut the deficit back to a single goal.
In the final seconds of the period, senior Tait Dixson scored to tie the game at seven apiece.
“It’s definitely hard coming back from a three-goal deficit,” Petersen said. “We just all worked together, and I knew I had to take some matters into my own hands, do some stuff for the team. I just went hard to the goal and put a couple in.”
The Wildcats retook the lead at 8-7 on a goal two minutes into the fourth quarter. Moments later, Draper scored his second to get the teams back to even. The remainder of the game belonged to Petersen, who scored three of the team’s final four goals in a span of about three minutes — senior Joe Borgerding had the other. The Sailors finished the game on a 5-0 run to avoid the early upset.
“We’ve been working hard for three weeks, so it’s always fun to play against another team and beat up on another team,” Lattimore said. “Unfortunately, that led to too many penalties, but we just got to clean up on some of those things and move forward.”
With the loss, Fruita Monument fell to 1-1, having defeated Summit 11-9 in its opener Friday. Steamboat (1-0) is off until 1:30 p.m. Saturday when it hosts Windsor. Windsor (1-0), ranked No. 9 in 4A, defeated Steamboat 16-15 in the first round of the state playoffs last season before bowing out in the state quarterfinals to eventual champion, Aspen.
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