Steamboat’s Nikki Fry is surrounded by Fruita-Monument defenders Saturday as she rushes downfield. She managed to score on the play, but it was a tough day for the Sailors, who lost, 13-5.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat’s Nikki Fry is surrounded by Fruita-Monument defenders Saturday as she rushes downfield. She managed to score on the play, but it was a tough day for the Sailors, who lost, 13-5.

Steamboat girls lacrosse falls, 13-5, to Fruita-Monument

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Steamboat's Megan Garcia tries to track down Fruita-Monument's Mariah Hartle on Saturday.

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Steamboat's Courtney Reynolds advanced up the field with the ball Saturday.

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Steamboat's Teagann Yeager looks to cut through the Fruita-Monument defense Saturday.

— It’s been a season of learning for the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team.

Sailors coach Betsy Frick said she’s been happy with the way the squad has absorbed all the lessons, and she has said all season that the team has improved constantly.

That was true until this weekend.

The Sailors fell twice at home, falling, 12-4, on Friday night to Battle Mountain, then 13-5 on Saturday to Fruita-Monument.

“We took a step back,” Frick said. “We had real trouble just with the basics today.”

Steamboat was sloppy all weekend, and it paid the price again Saturday.

The game was close almost all the way through the first half. Fruita-Monument leapt to an early 4-0 lead, but Aleigh Aurin helped power the Sailors back in to contention. She scored three consecutive goals to make it 4-3.

But things got out of hand quickly. Fruita-Monument plugged in two more goals before the end of the half for a 6-3 lead, then effectively ended the game by scoring three more goals in less than 90 seconds early in the second half, building a 9-3 lead.

“Fruita played well. They’re a good team, but we have played better than we played today,” Frick said. “Every game we played has been better, but the last two, we took a step back.”

The team dropped to 0-9 on the season.

Steamboat’s problems stemmed from its inability to match Fruita-Monument in moving the ball down the field. The Sailors struggled to string passes together and didn’t win nearly enough races to loose balls.

Fruita-Monument, meanwhile, was effective in passing the ball around Steamboat’s defense and found plenty of opportunities to unload shots.

“When we were passing the ball, we usually either missed or weren’t close enough,” Steamboat junior Hannah Hartley said. “Most of us don’t have really great endurance, so we get a little tired. They were pretty fast and good at shooting.”

Steamboat twice managed to slow the momentum in the second half, and it did so without even relying on the faulty passing game. Nikki Fry went coast-to-coast with the ball and slipped a backhanded shot in early in the first half. Hartley scored in similar fashion late in the half, setting the final score.

“I just kept running and I noticed I was dropping off defenders, so I just went for the goal,” Hartley said.

The squad returns to action Tuesday for the first of what will be three road games next week.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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