SSHS girls lacrosse to open home slate against Durango
If you go
What: SSHS girls' lacrosse (1-2) vs. Durango (0-1)
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Gardner Field
Why: It's the home opener for the Steamboat girls, who are feeling optimistic after their opening weekend in New Mexico.
Steamboat Springs — Brittney Starks is excited about the future of the Steamboat Springs High School girls’ lacrosse program. A senior on this year’s team, she hasn’t experienced much team success through her career, nor is she kidding herself about the Sailors’ chances of becoming relevant at the state level this spring.
But Starks sees the talent — developed talent — the underclassmen have, as well as the large number of girls currently playing in middle school, and is happy to help build a foundation that could lead to success in coming years.
“A girl coming into the program with already so much experience is really encouraging,” Starks said, noting the hot start of freshman Lucy Shimek. “I was kind of in the building years of it. I think we are going to be really good as times goes on.”
The program only started playing a full varsity schedule a few years ago and hasn’t recorded more than one win in either of the past two seasons. However, the Sailors went 1-2 in their opening weekend of the 2016 season in New Mexico and have already started to reassess their goals this spring with their home opener looming Saturday against Durango.
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“Before our opening weekend, I said I wanted to win three games,” senior Becky Brown said. “But now, I’m feeling like we can do more. I’m thinking a goal of winning six games, maybe? I don’t know. I just want to have fun and learn a lot.”
Considering how underdeveloped girls’ lacrosse is in New Mexico, last weekend’s games aren’t necessarily a good indicator of how competitive the Sailors might be this season against their quicker, in-state opponents. But coach Betsy Frick saw enough of a spark from the team last week to believe it could pull the upset against Durango.
“It was a good weekend. It was a good level of play for us. The two games we lost were super competitive,” Frick said. “Hopefully, we can hold our own. There is a chance we could pull it off, but you never know until you see their team.”
Durango (0-1) is far from a dominant program, but it did beat Steamboat handily last season, 18-4. The Demons opened their 2016 season by losing 19-3 to Aspen, making them a perfect upset candidate for the optimistic Sailors.
“It feels promising. I’m really excited about it,” Brown said about the season. “We haven’t had a solid group of experienced girls or girls that know how to play. I feel like the girls that did know how to play (in the past) just took the ball and were very individualized. But now, we know how to work as a team, and we can pass and get different opportunities.”
Before facing Durango at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Gardner Field, the Sailors will host Air Academy in a scrimmage at 5:45 p.m. Friday. Air Academy entered the season ranked No. 9 in the state. The scrimmage will not count toward either team’s regular-season record.
Durango plays at Summit on Friday before coming to Steamboat.
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