Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team made team history a year ago when it qualified for the playoffs, and the squad’s goal all this season has been not just to make it back, but to make a run in the postseason.
Now at the end of the regular season, the Sailors can turn their focus to that ambition, but they showed Friday that they didn’t get an early start dreaming about tournament glory.
Steamboat blasted Aspen, 17-1, playing at home in a regular-season finale that was never close. The Sailors, 9-1 and 6-0 in their league, scored quickly and frequently early, and Aspen never got off the mat.
“This is our second time having a perfect record in the conference,” junior midfielder Erik Owen said. “I wanted it. Our seniors wanted it, and we came out and played our best game of the year.”
Senior Andrew White started things off early with a goal at the 7 minute, 34 second mark of the first quarter. It was Owen who helped propel the team to the massive advantage, however. Owen scored five times in the game and four times in the first half.
“This was Erik’s best game,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. “The biggest thing was we were moving the ball and finding good chances to shoot.”
Owen made it 2-0, slamming home a pass from Brian Bertrand that found Owen perfectly placed in front of the net. Owen made it 4-1 in the second period after a pass from Jack Spady and 6-1 after a pass from Jackson Coe. He scored again in the waning moments of the first half to make it 8-1 and then opened with a goal early in the second half to push the lead to 9-1.
“They set me up,” Owen said about his teammates. “I just finished it. They got me all those good looks.”
Owen found many of his goals while dashing up the middle. He received passes and was able to fire from point-blank range. He took the most advantage, but he was far from the only Sailor to find success with the tactic. Grant McCannon, Garret Ehrick and Christian Ramirez each scored twice. Drew Ruff, Bertrand, Tyler Samlowski, Spady and John Wharton scored once.
“We started moving the ball and finding the open guys,” Bertrand said. “Now, we’re excited for the playoffs.”