Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse goes undefeated in Western Slope League
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Every high school athlete dreams of the perfect senior season.
For the 20 seniors on the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team, that dream included a Western Slope title and a state championship berth. So far, half of it came true Friday, May 3, when the Steamboat Sailors (12-3, 10-0) etched a 9-2 victory over the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers (4-11, 2-7) to move to a perfect record in the Western Slope League.
The last time the Sailors went perfect in league play was in 2012 under head coach Bob Hiester. They fell to Kent Denver in the second round of playoffs.
The team hasn’t seen an undefeated league record during the six years under head coach Jay Lattimore.
“That was our goal,” Lattimore said. “We’ve always talked about playoffs with these guys, but kind of this senior class wanted to make sure they won their conference and take the rest.”
The Sailors last saw the Gore Rangers on March 9, winning 11-10 in triple overtime after limited practices in both of the high school gyms. The lacrosse team spent four of its seven weeks unable to practice on Gardner Field due to a deep winter.
But once back on the field regularly, the Sailors quickly grew to the level they needed to play, but top players took their turns sitting out from injuries.
Senior captain Tallak Mhyre sat out most of the regular season with a hand injury. The Sailors played without Mhyre and seniors Kieran Hahn and Macray Dillingham in early April and felt it — losing to No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain and No. 6 Air Academy.
But the postseason marks the beginning of having the Sailors squad in full force. Mhyre returned in the game against the Gore Rangers on Friday, scoring two goals and adding one assist.
March 13: vs. Glenwood Springs, W 12-0
March 19: at Glenwood Springs, W 14-7
March 26: vs. Summit, W 14-2
March 30: at Thompson Valley, L 10-9
April 2: vs. Battle Mountain, W 13-5
April 5: at Cheyenne Mountain, L 19-4
April 6: at Air Academy, L 14-6
April 8: at Summit, W 11-2
April 11: vs. Eagle Valley, W 13-7
April 13: vs. Evergreen, W 10-2
April 15: at Battle Mountain, W 9-4
April 17: at Aspen, W 8-6
April 18: at Eagle Valley, W 10-7
May 3: vs. Vail Mountain, W 9-2
“l was a little rusty,” Mhyre said. “But once I started getting into it, my teammates really helped me get my rhythm going, and I was able to get a couple goals. I felt like I never left.”
Leading the Sailors on the attack was Jacob Gilbertson, who scored five goals. Dillingham added two. Both seniors Matthew Kempers and Jackson Lynch had two assists.
Steamboat held a narrow 3-2 lead after the first quarter, then extended it to 5-2 at half. The Sailors defense locked in on the Gore Rangers’ attack, eliminating any opportunity to score and allowing the Sailors to maintain possession and run away with the game.
“It was pretty satisfying considering that we’ve been grinding all these years,” senior Frank Becker said. “And it was great to see that us as seniors could get it because I feel like we deserve it.”
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