Steamboat lacrosse beats Fruita-Monument |

Steamboat lacrosse beats Fruita-Monument

Sailors team now prepares for biggest week of season

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School junior Jace Worden tries to keep the ball away from a Fruita-Monument High School opponent during Saturday's game. Steamboat won 11-3.

— The inevitable happened the past two days with the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team.

Steamboat again defeated Mountain Conference opponents, beating Grand Junction, 11-4, on Friday and Fruita-Monument, 11-3, on Saturday.

The real angle, however, appears to be that the rest of the conference is slowly but surely catching up to Steamboat.

"Again, Fruita has really improved," Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. "They have done some nice things with their program. We had to play the whole game and couldn't coast. It's them getting better. We kept playing everybody (Saturday) and didn't pull anybody out. It's indicative of Grand Junction and Fruita."

Despite Fruita's progress, Saturday's game was never in doubt. Just as Steamboat did Friday against Grand Junction, the Sailors came out Saturday and had all but decided the contest in the first half.

The Sailors (7-2 overall, 7-0 in conference play) fell behind, 1-0, on a goal from Jack Dietel early on, before ripping off seven unanswered goals to take a 7-1 lead.

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The offense again paced Steamboat at the outset. The Sailors put a movement clinic on early, getting goals from seven players.

"We're confident," said junior Lance Ostrom, who led Steamboat with four

goals Saturday. "Everybody has their roles. We're comfortable with each other enough to know they're going to be there."

For its part, Fruita played much better in the second half, limiting the Sailors' chances and creating a few of its own.

But by the time Steamboat's Grant McCannon and Alex Elliott — from his defense position — added late fourth-quarter goals, the game was well in hand.

Wilber Ranieri added two goals, and Jackson Coe, Jace Worden and John Wharton added one goal apiece.

Steamboat now enters the most telling week of the season. The team plays three games this week, all against Front Range teams ranked ahead of the Sailors in the poll.

Steamboat plays at 5:30 p.m. Monday at No. 17 Grandview, at 7 p.m. Friday at No. 19 Air Academy and at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at No. 18 Valor Christian.

Steamboat is ranked No. 22 in the polls.

"We just have to take the level of our play up a couple notches," said Hiester, noting that Steamboat would have to get off to a better start than it has previously against Front Range opponents. "This will no doubt give us a better idea of where we're at."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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