Boys lacrosse holds on to top Summit | SteamboatToday.com

Boys lacrosse holds on to top Summit

Austin Colbert

— Connor Frasier believes the Steamboat Springs High School boys' lacrosse team deserves a spot on the mountaintop with the rest of the state's elite. However, the senior defenseman also knows the Sailors are going to have to show a little more than they did against Summit on Wednesday for that to happen.

"We were coming in here, and we were hoping to win, working to win, expecting to win, but I don't think it was necessarily a sense of cockiness that hurt us," Frasier said. "We've been struggling to find that spot we need to be at to be one of those upper-level teams. Right now, we are just kind of hovering around that spot."

Steamboat, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, won 10-8 against Summit (1-12) at Gardner Field, its first game in two weeks due to spring break. Some rust was to be expected considering the long layoff, but the Sailors raced out to an early lead and went to the half up 6-3.

But that hot start couldn't be maintained, and SSHS played the remainder of the game simply trying to preserve the lead instead of dropping the hammer on the one-win Tigers.

"I always expect a game like this out of spring break, no matter who it is. It's great that we got the win," Steamboat coach Jay Lattimore said. "These guys always make it tough. They play really close games, but they always find a way to pull it through, which is nice."

After Summit closed to within two goals early in the second half, the Sailors ended their own scoring drought with two goals in six seconds, both coming in the final 20 seconds of the third quarter. Steamboat clung to an 8-6 lead throughout most of the fourth quarter, before junior Max Lynch scored a rare goal with less than three minutes remaining to silence the Tigers.

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Or, so they thought.

"The guys were really up for the game. They came out, grabbed the lead, and then again, we kind of let our guard down," Lattimore said. "They threw a zone at us, which took our offense out of a little rhythm. (Summit) answered well, and they were all pumped up on the sidelines, which helps a lot."

The excitement came after Summit senior Wil Laidlaw scored twice in 20 seconds to pull the Tigers within a goal with about 90 seconds to play. Steamboat didn't give them much of a chance to get the equalizer, however, and senior Joe DeLine's goal with 12 seconds remaining finally ended it.

"It was a tough one. It was a tough game to grind out," Lattimore said. "The player who hasn't scored in a while stepped up and scored a big one for us, so it's great to have a player like that win the game for us. It puts everything in perspective a little bit, so kudos to Max Lynch for getting the big goal."

Seniors Jackson Draper and Drew Williamson each had three goals to lead the Sailors.

Steamboat (8-3) now heads to the Front Range to face No. 7 Valor Christian at 4 p.m. Saturday. The game is being played at Denver University's Peter Barton Stadium.

"It all ties back to that mentality. Once we find that, that's when we'll be great again," Frasier said. "Every game, with the seniors, we get one game less in our future. So we want to be the best that we can be and do this as well as we can. Valor is one of those teams we always love to play hard against. This game really means a ton going into playoffs."

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