Steamboat lacrosse tops Air Academy

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Finally.

After several years of struggling against bigger and badder Front Range foes, the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team finally was able to break through Friday, beating Air Academy, 9-8.

“We’ve been close. So close,” said Steamboat coach Bob Hiester, whose team has lost five one-goal games to Front Range teams in the past three seasons. “We talked to the kids. This was one that we weren’t going to let get away. This is just another stepping stone.”

Steamboat (4-1) took an early 3-1 lead before Air Academy tied it at 3. It was 4 all at halftime before the Sailors took an 8-6 lead into the final quarter. The Sailors had a one-goal lead with two minutes left and were able to run out the clock.

John Wharton had three goals and Wilber Ranieri had two. Tyler Scott, Christian Ramirez, Kai Rogers and Lance Ostrom each had one goal.

Tyler Saxe was solid in net, making key saves down the stretch.

Hiester said Steamboat played its best game of the year, outplayed Air Academy and deserved to win.

The win marks Steamboat’s first against a Front Range team since 2010.

“And we still can get better,” Hiester said.

Steamboat resumes play at 11 a.m. Saturday in Eagle Valley.

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