Kirby dominates faceoff circle to help Steamboat boys lacrosse team to third straight win
Through the opening minutes of its game against Summit, the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team scored in every possession. Within a matter of one minute and 31 seconds, the Sailors scored three goals to develop a 3-0 lead.
While the Steamboat offense scored those goals by moving the ball and creating open space, they earned possession more than two thirds of the time thanks to Reeves Kirby and his faceoff skills.
Kirby won his team the ball a majority of the time, helping them stay in control and earn an 11-3 victory over the Tigers on Monday evening.
“Lacrosse is a game of possessions. If you can have more possessions than the other team, then you’re probably going to win,” Steamboat assistant coach Jackson Draper said. “Reeves has definitely been helping us out with that. His wing guys have been helping him out, getting guys out of his way or helping him get a ground ball. He’s been doing phenomenal.”
Faceoffs are one of the things that makes boys and girls lacrosse different. While girls stand and throw the ball up with the back of their stick heads, the boys battle it out more like hockey. A player from each team crouches with the ball on the ground between them. They pinch the ball with the back of the mesh on their sticks. On the whistle, they try to get the ball to themselves or push the ball to a teammate.
Kirby’s role is so specialized, once his team has possession, he steps off the field.
“From a young age, I took on center-mid (position),” Kirby said. “I lived in Maryland for a lot of my life and just grew up as the guy who took the faceoffs, and it evolved into the position I have today.”
Despite having just a few minutes on the field, Kirby loves his position on the team, saying it’s an intense five minutes of playing time.
Most of the time, Kirby flung the ball to a teammate, but every once in a while he was the right amount of selfish. With 4:31 left to go in the second, Hayden Magnuson scored for Steamboat, bringing the score to 4-2 and putting Kirby back in the faceoff circle.
Kirby won the draw, scooped up the ball and before any Summit players could move backward, he dashed into the open defensive zone and scored his first goal of the season.
“The defense didn’t slide,” Kirby said of his decision to move the ball himself. “That’s my job. If the opportunity is there, I’m going to take it.”
His goal caused some understandable frustration for Summit who allowed two goals in seven seconds and trailed 5-2. The Tigers beat Steamboat goalkeeper River King once more before the buzzer and trailed 6-3 at the half.
From there, it was all Steamboat.
Senior Aidan Story kicked off the third with a pair of goals to earn a hat trick. Senior Luke St. John and freshman Finn Rodgers each scored their second goals in the third quarter as well, putting them on hat trick watch. Two minutes into the fourth, junior Kellen Adams scored.
Ryan Hoffman was the other Sailors goal scorer, netting the first of the evening just 2:24 into the game.
“I think we’ve really been doing the little things right. That leads to things that stack up,” Draper said. “If we can keep doing the little things right, the big picture becomes a little bit easier.”
Steamboat Springs 11, Summit 3
S 1 2 0 0 – 3
SS 3 3 4 1 – 11
SS – Ryan Hoffman, 9:36
SS – Luke St. John, 8:49
SS – Finn Rodgers, 8:05
S – Summit goal, 5:38
S – Summit goal, 8:53
SS – Hayden Magnuson, 4:31
SS – Reeves Kirby, 4:24
SS – Aidan Story, 2:22
S – Summit goal, 1:27
SS – Story, 11:26
SS – Story, 3:07
SS – St. John, 0:47
SS – Rodgers, 0:16
SS – Kellen Adams, 9:58
Saturday, May 22
Steamboat Springs 10, Aspen 7
A 1 2 1 3 – 7
SS 1 4 5 0 – 10
Goals: Hayden Magnuson 2, Finn Rodgers 2, Jack Becker 2, Kellen Adams 1, Luke St. John 1, Ben Schott, 1, Aidan Story 1.
May 4 - versus Vail Mountain, L 7-4
May 7 - at Aspen, W 12-9
May 13 - at Battle Mountain, L 6-5 (OT)
May 18 - versus Eagle Valley, W 9-8
May 22 - versus Aspen, W 10-7
May 24 - versus Summit, W 11-3
June 2 - at Eagle Valley, L 13-3
June 4 - at Vail Mountain, W 7-6
June 10 - at Summit, W 15-1
June 12 - versus Battle Mountain, W 12-7
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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