The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team fell to defending state champion Fort Collins Unified, 15-0, on Tuesday at French Field in Fort Collins.
The Vipers, currently ranked No. 2 in the state behind Kent Denver, are again expected to battle for a state title. Their lone loss on the year came against a team from the East Coast.
"They are a very, very skilled team," Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. "Plus we didn't play well, and that's a bad combination."
Hiester said Fort Collins had big, strong athletes all across the field and Steamboat really struggled with the pressure.
It also didn't help that Steamboat was without two starters because of illness.
"I'm sure (Fort Collins' reputation) played a factor," Hiester said. "There's a question of the confidence level, but they are a really good team."
Steamboat, 5-6 overall, continues action this weekend with a pair of home games. Steamboat takes on Wheat Ridge (7-2) at 4 p.m. Friday and Mountain Range (2-4) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Wheat Ridge, Hiester said, is another team in the mold of Fort Collins, with big, strong, fast players all across the field.
Hiester said the game will come down to how well Steamboat is able to move the ball on offense and whether the Sailors can limit their opponents' chances.
"It's back to the drawing board," Hiester said. "We have to put this one behind us."