Short Friday, Steamboat boys lacrosse looks to Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Short Friday, Steamboat boys lacrosse looks to Saturday

After Friday loss to Vail, Steamboat aiming to take rematch

Steamboat Springs senior Colin Musselman launches the ball upfield Friday as the Sailors played at home against Vail Mountain. Steamboat got on a roll late, but it wasn't quite enough to make up for an early deficit. Vail held on to win, 10-8.

— A promising week turned officially rough Friday for the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team, but the Sailors have a chance to turn that around Saturday in their final regular season game of the year.

Steamboat lost at home Friday to Vail Mountain, 10-8. The two teams meet again Saturday, this time at Vail Mountain.

"It was another real close one, but unfortunately, we just weren't able to pull out the victory," coach Jay Lattimore said.

The Gore Rangers locked up first-place in the Western Conference with the win, eliminating Steamboat from that race. That's a turn for the Sailors after they entered the week with one league loss and a chance, with the back-to-back games against Vail, to seize control.

Now that the league has slipped away, what's still at stake?

In Lattimore's eye's, everything still is. Steamboat remains in the middle of the hunt to make the state playoffs, and turning the tables on Vail Mountain in Saturday's game could first confirm the Sailors get a spot at the table, then make a big difference when it comes to seeding.

Recommended Stories For You

Steamboat entered the night sitting at No. 12 in the RPI rankings, which will be used to determine the 16-team Class 4A state bracket. The strong, state-spanning schedule the team played all season — the one that offered some lumps in the form of close losses — is a huge help to the team now, bolstering its strength of schedule.

That schedule's value will only grow stronger with another game against a 13-1 Vail Mountain squad, but it's unclear if playing the game, alone, will be enough to ensure the Sailors a spot, or if they need to win.

Either way, of course, they'll be aiming for the win.

They had a shot Friday, thanks to a huge second-half rally. The team trailed 5-3 at halftime, then 9-5 later before charging to within a goal, 9-8.

Vail scored one last time in the waning seconds to put the game away.

Davis Peterson scored six goals to lead Steamboat. He also had an assist. Max Lynch put away two goals and also had an assist.

Lattimore said he got big games from his six seniors — playing at home for the final time in their career — Peter Wharton, Lynch, Bryan Gilbertson, Grant Janka, Colin Musselman and Wyatt Reynolds.

They'll need one more big game to ensure they can continue their season, however, and Lattimore's confident his players have it in them. It's a tough task, turning around to play the team that just beat you a day later, but Lattimore said the Sailors will tinker with a little, then fight hard for a different result.

"We were in it to the end, and we missed a lot of opportunities out there," he said. "These guys definitely want to win to continue their season. It feels like we're in the playoffs right now. Every game counts."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9