Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Steamboat Springs The members of the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team remember last year's meeting with Dakota Ridge fondly.
It was the Sailors' first home game in the short history of the sport here in Steamboat, and despite wild weather conditions, Steamboat collected an 11-2 win in the game.
Dakota Ridge head coach Suzanne Vanatta also remembers the game.
"We had every type of weather condition you could imagine," Vanatta recalls. "We had hail, rain, sleet and snow. It was great."
The only thing that wasn't great for Dakota Ridge may have been the final score. The team's normally powerful offensive attack was absent and the Sailors found holes in the team's defensive front.
Vanatta is hoping for a different type of game when the two teams meet this weekend in Littleton (just southwest of Denver) in a key league matchup.
Steamboat hasn't played an official game this season, but head coach Chris Polumbus said her players are pumped to finally get the chance to step onto the field.
"I'm glad that we had a scrimmage at Smoky Hill a few weeks ago," Polumbus said. "It gave some of our younger players some experience."
Polumbus was also confident because her team finally got outside this week and started to practice on the field near the Human Services Center on Seventh Street.
"Our players are just so excited to be outside," Polumbus said.
"We've had some great practices."
This Saturday the coach will be hoping for a great game against the Eagles. Dakota Ridge will have four freshman and eight brand new players, but the team will also return one of the state's top scorers, Laura Gustafuson.
Also returning for another season will be Breann Westmore, Kristal Cook and goalkeeper Theresa McCallar.
"Steamboat is a little bit of an unknown because they are so far away," Vanatta said. "I think they surprised us a little bit last year. This time we will be ready and I'm expecting a pretty good game."
The Eagles are off to a slow start this season losing to Grandview in a 8-2 game on March 15. The team was off last week for spring break, but lost to Rangeview on Tuesday night 14-5.
"We are a young program," Vanatta said. "The school has only been in existence for five years."
Last year Dakota Ridge averaged four goals a game and finished the season 0-11-1. The team tied Columbine.
"We scored a lot of goals, but unfortunately we also gave a lot of them up," Vanatta said. "We've made a few changes this year and hopefully we can turn things around."