GRAND JUNCTION — Welcome to the eighth quarter, Vail Mountain lacrosse.
The Gore Rangers played two matches on Saturday, breezing past Fruita Monument’s JV, 16-3, before facing an 11-10 deficit against Grand Junction’s JV with 90 seconds left.
VMS’ Dylan Hardenbergh scored the tying goal. Tyler Hancock won the ensuing faceoff and fed it to Brandon Rosenbach, who made a nifty move to the top corner for the win.
“We were calling it the eighth quarter,” Vail Mountain School coach Matt Felser said. “We had to dig deep and persevere. We never gave up. We trailed for most of the fourth quarter. We dug deep and found that last bit of gas in the tank.”
And that’s a valuable bit of experience for the first-year varsity program, which is 6-1. Against Grand Junction, VMS’ top-line attackers all had hat tricks — Rosenbach, Luke Verratti and Nick Whiteford. Clay Kirwood had the other two.
The Fruita game was easier on the blood pressure. Verratti had six and Rosenbach five as the Gore Rangers cruised to the win.
Next up, VMS hosts Eagle Valley’s JV at Bandoni Alumni Field on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Soccer gets huge win
And Vail Mountain soccer made it a perfect Saturday for all things Gore Ranger-ish with a 1-0 win against Basalt at Bandoni Alumni Field.
Haley Samuels had the game’s only goal in the 76th minute. Sydney Sappenfield started it with a short corner kick to Kristin Vossler. She crossed it to Samuels at the far post. Samuels settled the ball and smashed it home.
It’s the first time since 2011 VMS has beaten the Longhorns.
With the win, VMS moved to 3-2 in the 3A Slope with nine points. That ties the Gore Rangers with Aspen for the fourth and final playoff spot. VMS holds the tiebreaker with the Skiers, so, if the season ended immediately, the Gore Rangers would be wearing orange.
But another big game at Grand Valley looms on Tuesday. The Cardinals are explosive offensively and hold down the second spot in the 3A Slope.
“They’re looking good,” VMS coach Ted O’Reilly said of the Cardinals. “They score a lot and our defense will get tested. I think they’re up to the challenge.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.