Boys lax denies Fruita, claims third in WSL | SteamboatToday.com

Boys lax denies Fruita, claims third in WSL

Austin Colbert

— The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team won't receive recognition for being league champion, because it isn't. But the Sailors will end the season with the best record in the Western Slope League, which is almost as good.

"I thought we were all going to be playing for first place. I think we definitely could have won that game," junior Max Lynch said. "We came out, played our game and won third place. So, good win all around from the boys."

Friday at Gardner Field, Steamboat defeated Fruita Monument 9-5, in the WSL third-place game to finish league play 8-1. Despite being the only team in the Western Slope with fewer than two league losses, the Sailors were relegated to the third-place game due to their division record, with an early-season, overtime loss to Battle Mountain the only blemish.

Battle Mountain will play Aspen Saturday for the WSL crown.

"A win is a win. I think standings in the conference really don't matter this time of year. It comes down to state playoffs," Sailors coach Jay Lattimore said. "We need to win out and get ourselves, hopefully, a home game in the playoffs. So, big game tomorrow. A lot is on the line."

Friday's win against Fruita Monument (10-5) keeps the Sailors (10-4) in good position to host a first-round playoff game, particularly if they can beat Douglas County (4-10) in Saturday's 3 p.m. season-finale at Gardner Field. The playoff brackets will be announced Sunday.

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"Right now, we definitely have the best record in our conference, no matter what title they want to give us," Lattimore said. "Our defense needed a big game like this, and they had a huge second half and were able to nearly shut them down."

The defense, led by 10 saves from junior goalie Peter Wharton, was largely responsible for the win against Fruita Monument. The Sailors led 5-4 at halftime and didn't allow the Wildcats to score again until only 16 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Davis Petersen and senior Drew Williamson each had three goals to lead the Sailors. Senior Chris Kaminski scored twice and senior Jackson Draper once to round out the scoring.

"First half, we were letting our drop sides go, and they were getting their cutters open and feeding them," Lynch said. "Second half, we just focused and didn't let them catch the ball. I think we played one of our better games, in the second half, all year."

Saturday's game against Douglas County will also mark senior day for the Sailors, who will recognize their 13 seniors during the match.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert