Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Sailors boys lacrosse team rode the heavy winds Monday afternoon at Gardner Field to an easy win against the Englewood Pirates.
Steamboat (4-7) scored early and often, out-shooting its opponent, 27-7, to down Englewood (1-9) by a score of 16-5.
The Steamboat attack started the scoring when Tyler Ostrom found Kevin Bertrand, who snaked around his defenseman on the crease and snuck in a Canadian-style backhand shot.
Long-stick midfielder Nigel Hammond won the ensuing faceoff and, on Steamboat's nicest assisted goal of the day, made a quick dodge in transition and fed Chase Grippa, who finished the job with a nearside bounce shot.
By the time Englewood had its first settled offensive possession, nine minutes into the game, Steamboat had secured a healthy lead, 7-0.
"The first half was a real let-down," Englewood coach Taylor Ford said. "That's our typical M.O., where we have one quarter we lay down, but I was proud of how they came alive and put some balls in the net."
Englewood held its own at faceoffs, although Steamboat edged it out 14-10, and opened the second quarter winning the ball and getting on the scoreboard.
The play got a little sloppy from there. Steamboat capitalized on a pair of back-to-back Englewood penalties, but as ground balls turned into slugged-out melees, both teams struggled to carry the ball. Englewood took advantage of the unorganized play when Sam Breaze snuck in an underhanded shot in transition.
"It was hard not to get suckered into going down with bad habits," Steamboat midfielder Sean Forney said. "We had to keep sharp."
Up 11-2, Steamboat had a much sharper second half, opening the third quarter with a sustained five minutes of offense. Steamboat coach Bob Hiester was pleased to get a chance to play many younger players as well as to see his offense start finding, and executing, easy looks inside. The field vision was apparent on Ostrom's pass to Bryce Peters on the crease to open up the fourth quarter.
"A lot of kids scored, the guys played hard and got their work in," Hiester said. "Now we gotta gear up to play Wheat Ridge."
Forney and Hiester noted the game's importance for Hammond, Tyler Samlowski and Cam Niswander, who will likely step in at defense for Steamboat in its final varsity game of the season Thursday afternoon at Wheat Ridge, in place of the Sailors' defensive starters, gone early for spring break.
"We'll have to practice hard, work on faceoffs a lot and those huge ground ball scrums," Forney said of the final game. "Wheat Ridge was the first team we beat as a JV and we beat them last year : I'll leave everything out there."
Grippa led all scorers with five goals and Ostrom and Gus Worden each had three. Bertrand scored twice and Logan Lightfoot, Forney and Peters had one a piece.
Girls lacrosse wins big
The Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse team bounced back from a tough shutout loss Saturday with a resounding win Monday. In what Steamboat coach Jenn Kirkpatrick called an "all-around, awesome" game, Steamboat beat Mountain Range, 14-2.
"We just played so well and the teamwork was huge," Kirkpatrick said. "We hustled, the girls ran as hard as they could, connected passes, got the double teams and did everything we've been working on in practice."
Although Kirkpatrick mentioned the stellar play of goalie Courtney Adamo, she said the Sailors had the ball on offense for roughly 80 percent of the game.
The foursome of Janie Townes, Maria Heilner, Mollie Wunder and Kelsey Pal spread the scoring and did the damage for Steamboat.
"Everybody played and everybody stepped up," Kirkpatrick said.
Steamboat plays at 4 p.m. Friday at home against Denver East and at 11 a.m. Saturday against Green Mountain.