After scoring four goals in her final lacrosse game at Gardner field, Steamboat Springs High School senior Brittany Innes walked off the turf with mixed emotions.
"The first half was the best I've seen our team play in the past four years," Innes said. "I wish we could have kept that up for the entire game."
Innes' three first-half goals helped the Sailors keep pace with the much larger Ralston Valley (5-7). The two teams traded goals in the first half, which ended with Ralston Valley clinging to a 6-5 lead.
But the Sailors couldn't stop a Mustang run that began in the first and continued through the final 25 minutes of play. Steamboat's Maria Heilner scored with just more than 4 minutes remaining in the first to give the Sailors a 5-4 lead. However, Steamboat's next goal came from Innes with just more than 13 minutes left in the game.
In the minutes between Steamboat's goals, visiting Ralston Valley scored seven times, sparking a run that led to the 13-7 win.
"We played like the team we can and should be in the first half, but then we let it get away," Steamboat coach Sarah James said. "We were not used to playing a zone defense. In the first half we got by it, but we couldn't in the second."
Most of Ralston Valley's offense came from Emily DeHaven, Emily Sheehan, Julia Ostberg and Jessica Nowotarsk who each netted two goals in the game. However, the Mustangs had seven players score in the game.
"I'm not sure what happened," Innes said after the game. "I think we might have gotten a little fatigued toward the end."
In addition to Innes and Heilner, Steamboat got goals from Sam Pal and Hanna Zittel.
The loss dropped the Sailors to 2-6 for the season and might have been the Sailors' final game of the season. It was the last home game for seniors Innes, Pal and Leah Stettner.
Steamboat Springs Athletics Director Richard Lee is hoping to reschedule a game against Wheat Ridge High School next Thursday on the Front Range. The game originally was scheduled for March 30 but was postponed because of weather.