Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse team brought a clean and aggressive brand of play to its second day at the Border War Lacrosse Tournament in Grand Junction.
Unfortunately, the Sailors brought it a little too late.
A poor first quarter cost Steamboat its Friday game against Pleasant Grove of Salt Lake City losing, 11-8, in its one interstate match of the tournament.
The sluggish opening frame put Steamboat back, 4-1, after which Bob Hiester beamed about his team's ability to "claw back into it." Steamboat matched the Pleasant Grove offense goal for goal during the following three quarters and seven goals.
Hiester credited his team's defensive play in helping spawn the much-needed wake-up call.
"(Pleasant Grove) was a skilled team; they threw a lot of inverts and iso(lations) at us, but the D had really good pressure and support and reacted with good, early slides," Hiester said, pointing out goalkeeper Scot Forney's eight saves and that the Steamboat defense incurred only a single penalty in the game.
Kevin Bertrand scored twice with two assists, and Chase Grippa and Sean Forney each added two goals. Midfielders Gus Worden and Logan Lightfoot scored goals.
"I was pleased with the kids battling back," Hiester said. "They could've given up after the first quarter. We weren't at full go, but the kids showed a lot of courage and hustle."
Steamboat carried the momentum into its final day of tournament action on Saturday with a 9-3 win against the Douglas County varsity 2 team.
But slow first-quarter play plagued the Sailors again.
"Our ground balls were a little shaky in the first quarter," Hiester said of the game that was deadlocked at 2-2. "And then we dominated with good intensity. Basically, we controlled the ball game very well."
Steamboat outscored Douglas County 7-1 for the remainder of the game, spread between seven different scorers.
"The nice thing about it was that five (goals) were assisted," Hiester said. "That's outstanding, it's where we've got to be and where we start winning lacrosse games."
Sean Forney led the Sailors with a hat trick and Grant Ehrick, Grippa, Alex Palaniuk, Bertrand, Tyler Ostrom and Mark Shenfield all added one. Grippa and Bertrand each had two assists and Worden had one. Scot Forney finished with 11 saves.
Steamboat plays at 4 p.m. Friday at Alexander Dawson.