High school sports weekend preview for March 31-April 2
March 30, 2016
Steamboat girls lacrosse
Steamboat Springs — 4 p.m. Thursday Steamboat (3-4) at Battle Mountain (3-1)
11 a.m. Saturday Steamboat vs. Fruita Monument (1-1)
Steamboat didn't put up much of a fight in a pair of games last year against Battle Mountain, losing two games against the Huskies by a combined score of 32-6.
The Sailors have been quick to show major improvement this season, however, winning three of their first season games when, a year ago, they won only one of 14.
Thursday's trip to Edwards to face Battle Mountain should offer a good measuring stick to see how much ground Steamboat has made up against one of the school's major league rivals.
Fruita Monument on Saturday should offer a difficult test, as well. The Wildcats were most recently blown out by Dakota Ridge, but easily handled Summit, a team that's otherwise held its own in early action against teams from the region.
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Steamboat boys lacrosse
4 p.m. Friday Steamboat (2-2) vs. Evergreen (0-2)
11 a.m. Saturday Steamboat at Grand Junction (1-1)
The Sailors will look to get back on track this weekend after back-to-back losses. Friday's home game against winless Evergreen could offer that chance. For that to happen, however, Steamboat's defense will need to be up for the challenge.
The team has given up nearly nine goals per game so far this season. That's actually down from last year, when it surrendered 9.25 per game, but up from an average of 5.6 goals per game during its 2013 and 2014 state semifinal runs.
Evergreen hasn't proven particularly adept at scoring, itself, scoring a total of eight goals in its two lopsided losses, so it could be a great opportunity for the Sailors to sharpen their skills.
Steamboat girls soccer
6 p.m. Thursday Steamboat (6-0) at Eagle Valley (2-1-1)
1 p.m. Saturday Steamboat vs. Centaurus (2-0)
The Sailors managed to remain perfect on the season after a Tuesday trip to Summit, but may need to play better this weekend if they're to stay that way.
Thursday's opponent, Eagle Valley, has been up and down this season, notching nice wins against Glenwood Springs and Delta, but last week playing winless Summit to a draw. Steamboat lacked a bit of pep in it's step earlier this week, but that could go a long way toward ensuring Thursday's a "down" day for Eagle instead of an "up" day.
Centaurus, meanwhile, presents a solid, non-league hurdle for the Sailors. The Warriors haven't played much this season, but haven't lost yet. Last year, the two teams played to a 1-1 tie.
11 a.m. Saturday Steamboat (2-6) vs. Palisade (3-3), in Craig
After a pair of lopsided losses Tuesday, coach Rusty McRight compared his team's struggle to that of someone pumping water from an old-fashioned well on a farm.
"You start pumping the handle, and you keep pumping, but you never really know when that water is going to come to the surface," he said.
Right now, he said, his young team is working that lever and waiting for the water to flow.
McRight said it's errors that have doomed his team, and he’s hoping the squad can turn the corner on those mistakes.
"Eventually that water is going to start flowing," he said, "and the work will pay off."
Saturday Steamboat vs. Vail Mountain, Grand Junction at Grand Junction
The Sailors knew they were in for a long break when they returned March 12 from a Grand Junction tournament. They weren’t scheduled to play again for 13 days.
It's been a bit longer than that, however. Two consecutive weather cancellations have pushed that tennis-free drought to 20 days. That is, of course, assuming both that the team actually makes the trip Friday back to Grand Junction for duals against Vail Mountain and Grand Junction and that Steamboat’s players remember where they stored their rackets and tennis shoes.
Steamboat, Soroco and Hayden track
Saturday Hayden and Steamboat at Grand Junction, Soroco at Cedaredge
All three local track teams are heading south west, and all three will see plenty of regional competition.
For Steamboat and Hayden, the destination is the Mickey Dunn Invitational in Grand Junction, which will feature 22 teams. Soroco, meanwhile, shifted its plans at the last minute after its planned meet in Brighton was postponed. Now it’s headed to Cedaredge, where it'll be one of 18 teams from around the region competing.
This early in the season, teams aren't looking for much more than good weather.