Jackson Perry jumps onto the back of teammate Peter White while celebrating a goal in Monday afternoon's 14-11 win against Thompson Valley.

Photo by John F. Russell

Jackson Perry jumps onto the back of teammate Peter White while celebrating a goal in Monday afternoon's 14-11 win against Thompson Valley.

Steamboat boys lacrosse comes from behind against Thompson Valley to extend streak to 7

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— During the first 20 minutes of Monday afternoon’s game against Thompson Valley, it looked as though the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team's undefeated season was in danger of coming to an end.

But despite giving up seven straight goals to the visitors and trailing, 7-1, members of the hometown team never lost faith that they could come back and never lost faith in one another.

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Steamboat Springs' Ben Wharton passes the ball past a defender to teammate Willy Gunn in front of the goal. Gunn would score on the play as part of a 12-0 run that helped Steamboat pick up its seventh win of the season Monday afternoon.

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Willy Gunn celebrates after scoring a goal in Monday afternoon's 14-11 win against Thompson Valley.

“That was the difference in this game,” coach Jay Lattimore said after Steamboat’s 14-11 win against Thompson Valley. “We have faith in each other when things are going well, and we have faith in each other when things are not going our way. Our players knew what they needed to do in this game — they watched the other team do it for a half. We knew that was what we needed to do, only we needed to do it better.”

Thompson Valley, from Loveland, maintained the momentum in this game for most of the first half. Steamboat got an early goal when Willy Gunn made a nice pass to Ben Wharton in front of the goal. Wharton shot it past the Thompson Valley goalkeeper to give the Sailors a 1-0 lead.

But the lead would not last.

A few moments later, Thompson Valley scored the first of seven unanswered goals to take a commanding lead. Thompson Valley goals came from Brian McGhie and Johnny Parsons, who each had two. Teammates Ryan Spitz, Nik Clinton and Kale Wilson stretched the lead to 7-1 with just less than four minutes left in the half.

But Steamboat found a spark just before the end of the half when Mitch McCannon set up Wharton to score. Then with time running out in the half, Erik Sobeck scored with an assist from McCannon to make the score 7-3.

“We knew what we needed to do when we came out at halftime,” Gunn said. “We needed to pick up the tempo and get more aggressive.”

Gunn said the goals at the end of the first half were huge and helped the offense find its stride. The other big difference came when Steamboat started winning the midfield draws.

“Face-offs are huge,” Gunn said. “Especially against a good team like this one.”

In the second half, it was clear that momentum had shifted to the Sailors sideline as Steamboat chipped away at Thompson Valley’s advantage and then took the lead with 10 more unanswered goals. McCannon scored the first of two goals just minutes into the second half to fuel the Steamboat run. Gunn, Wharton, Peter White, Sobeck and Drew Williamson also scored for the Sailors.

Steamboat led the game, 13-7, when Thompson Valley ended the scoring streak as midfielder Jonah Warren scored late in the third quarter. Gunn added a goal to make the score 14-8, but Thompson Valley made a late charge with goals from McGhie and two from Parsons. But Steamboat was able to regain control of the ball as time ran out, putting an end to any chance of a late comeback.

The victory improved the Sailors' record to 7-0 this season, while Thompson Valley fell to 5-2. Steamboat will be back at Gardner Field at 6 p.m. Friday to face Golden.

“We don’t really look at what happened last year or look at the stats,” Lattimore said. “We want to take it one game at a time, and that’s what I’ve been telling these guys since the beginning of the season.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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