Steamboat Springs Alexander Dawson boys lacrosse coach Travis Aldrich was waiting for it to happen. He knew it was just a matter of time before Steamboat Springs coach Bob Hiester established another legitimate lacrosse program like he has done at all his previous posts.
That moment came Saturday at Gardner Field, where Steamboat played some of its best lacrosse in the program's seven-year history.
Steamboat dominated Alexander Dawson, 9-5, marking the first time the Sailors have beaten the Mustangs. Steamboat - playing its third game in a 20-hour stretch - fell to Chatfield in the second game of the day, 11-3.
"The biggest thing is, and Bob has spent a lot of time putting this program together, we've always known it would only take a little bit for him to get them to believe in what he was doing," Aldrich said. "You saw that (Saturday). They believed in what Bob has put in. They bought into it. You could tell they wanted it. It was fun to watch. : You have to hand it to the program for sure."
Against the Mustangs, the Sailors governed play for most of the day. Despite falling behind 2-0 after the first quarter, Steamboat carried over momentum from Friday's 6-5 overtime win against Green Mountain.
In a three-minute stretch of the second quarter, Steamboat erased the two-goal deficit. The Sailors got goals from Tyler Ostrom, Kevin Bertrand, Chase Grippa and Jack Spady to head into the half with a 4-2 lead.
In the last eight minutes of the quarter, Steamboat was so overwhelming that Alexander Dawson possessed the ball only once.
"At that point, we just started dominating," Hiester said. "We got into our stride and just kept the pressure on."
After the Mustangs tied the score at four with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Gus Worden and Garret Ehrick scored goals in the last minute to put Steamboat up for good.
Worden, Ostrom and Bryce Peters added goals in the fourth quarter to complete the win.
"It's amazing," said Ostrom, who missed multiple games with a concussion. "Green Mountain was awesome. I came out and scored a goal. I love to get back out on the field and play with my teammates. Coming into this weekend, we were hoping to do well and I think we did well."
In the afternoon game against Chatfield, a visibly fatigued Steamboat team just couldn't get anything going.
The Chargers jumped out to a 2-0 first quarter lead and took a 4-0 lead into halftime. The Sailors fell on some tough luck, having three separate shots hit the post in the first quarter.
Chatfield extended its lead to 8-0 going into the fourth quarter before Steamboat goals by Grippa, Alex Palaniuk and Tyler Samlowski made it interesting.
The Chargers responded with three goals in the last three minutes to put the game away for good.
"We made huge strides this weekend," Hiester said. "We're playing the best lacrosse we've ever played. It's hard when you lose a ball game like this afternoon : but we can't let that take away from what we did in the morning, beating a team we've never beaten."
Steamboat plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Collins against defending state champion and second-ranked Fort Collins Unified.
"I think it's the same way we've been approaching these last few weeks," Hiester said. "We need to improve. Every time out we should get better."
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