Steamboat Springs Sometimes in sports, a win can mean much more than a final score can resemble.
So when the final buzzer sounded at Gardner Field on Friday night, the Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse team raised their sticks in the air, shouted in elation and ran to the sideline to celebrate. It proved to be one of those types of wins.
The Sailors — despite being heavily outnumbered — battled through a back-and-forth game to grab their first win of the season against Eagle Valley, 10-9.
“It’s huge for confidence,” Steamboat coach Betsy Frick said about her squad, which opened the season with two losses by a combined score of 36-3. It was fun that it was a fairly close, back-and-forth battle. Those kind of situations are good.”
Steamboat delivered the first blows off back-to-back Lexy Look goals to make it 2-0 just five minutes into the contest. Eagle Valley knotted things up at 2-2 midway through the first half and snagged its first lead, 4-3, with a minute to go in the first 25 minutes.
Sailors freshman Ellie Crouch made it a 4-4 game at the break, and senior Kyla Taylor gave the Sailors the lead again at 5-4 just four minutes into the second half.
From there, the two teams traded goals as Steamboat pushed a 7-5 margin onto the Devils, who responded by knotting up the score with a pair of goals of their own.
But Look’s huge night, which included a game-high five goals, saved the day for Steamboat. The senior scored Steamboat’s final two goals, and the Sailors held off a last-minute barrage by the Devils to improve to 1-2 on the season.
“When you end up 10-9, literally everything every player out there does is important,” Frick said. “Every ground ball, every pass, every save is important. That’s fun when they feel like everything they do matters.”
To go along with Look’s five goals, sophomore Haley Doyne pitched in a pair of goals. Taylor, Crouch and senior Maura Glynn each found the back of the net for Steamboat. Taylor also recorded six first-half saves at goalie, and Summer Dorr finished it off with five saves in the second half.
Things never came easy for the Sailors on Friday, especially on the physical conditioning side of things. With just one reserve on Frick’s bench, the coach had to keep nearly the entire roster on the field for the game’s 50 minutes.
With players limping, cramping and even begging for prescription inhalers, Frick was just happy her squad could weather the circumstances and get one into the win column.
“We had one sub, and they had 28 on their roster,” Frick said with a laugh. “I was pleased that we didn’t completely run out of gas, to be honest. There were some tired girls out there.”
Steamboat plays at Battle Mountain at 4 p.m. Friday.
“They have some really strong players who are looking to play in college,” Frick said about Battle Mountain. “They’ve done it with a small squad, as well. We need to keep improving and keep working together.”
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll