Steamboat Springs Steamboat's girls lacrosse team went south to find greener fields as it opened its season in Colorado Springs last weekend.
Working out the kinks during its first chance to play outdoors this season, Steamboat dropped games to Liberty and Pine Creek.
With two weeks of scrimmages and games postponed from winter weather, the Sailors had not even practiced outdoors before stepping onto the field for Friday's game against Liberty. Coach Riley Polumbus said it was the first time three of her starters, freshmen Kayla Murphy and Samantha Pal and sophomore Alisha Williams, ever played on a lacrosse field.
"It was our first day outside ever. Just the fact that there were brand new players starting, we wanted to focus the weekend as a learning experience and getting adjusted," the coach said. "Always the first time outside is a little more difficult."
Despite a hat trick from Amanda Leftwich, Steamboat lost its season opener to Liberty 14-6. After the first half, the Sailors trailed 5-3, but their defense broke down in the second half to let the Lancers rack up nine goals to the Sailors' three. Leftwich's three goals led the Sailors on Friday.
"(Leftwich) still has a lot to improve on, but she started to find the back of the net," Polumbus said.
Senior captain Lauren Baumann scored two goals and Lauren Weaver scored one to give the Sailors six for the game.
On Saturday, Steamboat lost to Pine Creek 17-3. To balance the field with experienced players and new starters, Polumbus said she shifted the lineup in Saturday's game to move attackers Leftwich and Leah Stettner to the backfield.
"It really helped defensively," Polumbus said. "But (Pine Creek) is at a higher caliber than we are. Play for play, they were just faster."
After two loses, Polumbus said the girls are focusing on their next games against league foes Golden and Wheat Ridge on April 6.
Although Polumbus said the Sailors are in good condition, playing indoors means her players have a harder time adjusting to running the field during games than the teams that have had the chance to practice on grass.
For the next two weeks, the Sailors will be waiting for the snow to melt and looking for free space to play on parking lots.