Steamboat Springs' Ellie Crouch looks for a way out as the Aspen defense closes in Thursday during the Sailors 17-0 loss.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Springs' Ellie Crouch looks for a way out as the Aspen defense closes in Thursday during the Sailors 17-0 loss.

Aspen beats up Steamboat girls in lacrosse

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— It was the prospect of physical play and of checking opponents into the turf that drew Lexy Look to lacrosse.

Like many of her teammates, the Steamboat Springs High School senior is new to the sport this season, and the team’s inexperience showed again Thursday.

The Aspen Skiers scored seven goals in the game’s first seven minutes en route to a 17-0 win against the Sailors in Steamboat.

2014 Sailors girls lacrosse schedule

Despite lopsided losses and even the fact that checking is an automatic penalty in girls lacrosse, Look said she’s enjoying every moment.

“I love it,” said Look, a veteran of the volleyball and basketball teams. “It’s my favorite sport I’ve played.”

Games like Thursday’s don’t necessarily lend themselves to “fun,” even for the optimistic bunch. Aspen controlled every aspect of the game, winning the vast majority of the face-offs and then controlling the ball until they scored a goal.

The Skiers scored their 11th goal with 3 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first half, starting the running clock.

A team largely composed of newcomers, Steamboat struggled to get to and pick up ground balls, and it struggled to move the ball down the field. It managed several shots but never was able to sustain a long offensive possession.

“Today was tough. We were definitely outclassed,” Betsy Frick said. “They’re playing hard. They’re improving every game, but experience wise, we’re just in different leagues.”

Look did find positives, mostly in the team’s defense. It wasn’t great, failing to generate turnovers, succumbing to the same Aspen play for about half the game’s goals and allowing 17 goals.

But against one of the more polished teams the Sailors will face — a senior-laden squad built from a strong youth lacrosse feeder system — Look said it was apparent Steamboat has come a long way in the season’s first month.

“Since Day 1, we’ve definitely made progress just in staying with our girls,” Look said. “We’re figuring out the whole game. That’s how it is with an inexperienced team.”

Frick said her team’s current glaring weakness was evident Thursday, both in what Steamboat couldn’t accomplish and what Aspen could. It comes down to Lax IQ, she said, simply knowing who’s open, what’s going on and how to react.

It’s the kind of thing that’s impossible to pick up in the span of a few weeks, but the kind of thing the Sailors are slowly improving upon, even when games like Thursday’s get out of hand.

“We’re learning a lot from these games,” Look said. “All of this is a work in progress.”

Steamboat is back in action Saturday as it travels to play at Durango. The Sailors dropped to 1-5 with the loss.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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