Battle Mountain dukes it out against Steamboat Springs |

Battle Mountain dukes it out against Steamboat Springs

Huskies fall 6-3 as Sailors remain unbeaten in league play

Max Larson tries to get upfield during the second quarter of Friday's game between the Huskies and the Sailors in Edwards.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Riding a two-game win streak, the Huskies boys lacrosse squad knew Friday’s matchup with the best team in the 4A Western Slope, Steamboat Springs, would provide the stiffest test of the year thus far.

“They’re a pretty good team for sure,” Battle Mountain head coach Pat Doherty said after the No. 7-ranked Sailors handled the ever-improving Huskies with a hard-fought 6-3 win.

“But I think our guys are right there with everybody,” the coach continued, accurately describing the tenor and tone of all 48-minutes of play. “The greatest part about this team is our guys are fighters. They continue to fight and fight to the end.”

Finn Rodgers fires a shot during the first quarter. Rodgers put the Sailors up 1-0 with 3:56 remaining in the period.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Steamboat Springs, which hasn’t lost a league game and only has one blemish on the year overall, controlled the time of possession throughout the first and were patient working the ball around the offensive zone. In the final four minutes, a sideways-flying Finn Rodgers scored the game’s first goal on an acrobatic angled slingshot from 18 yards. The Huskies didn’t get any more first-quarter chances, and Seth Bamford was solid in goal to end the period at 1-0.

“Just do as I’m told — save the shot,” Bamford — who was brilliant all night — answered when asked what he was thinking in the net.

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“Seth’s been playing amazing all season,” Doherty added. “We have two great goalies and Seth’s been standing on his head for us day in and day out. He keeps us in the game.”

At the 9:32 mark of the second Garret Ast wound up from deep and sent a sideshot to the back of the net to give the Huskies life.

Garret Ast celebrates his second-quarter goal, which tied things up at 1-1.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

At the 5:35 mark, Battle Mountain had a two-on-one but the ball bobbled out of Jack Pryor’s stick near the goal as fans on both sides held their collective breaths. Two minutes later, Rodgers found Brady Adams right outside the 8-meter arc to give Steamboat Springs a 2-1 lead going into half.

“I think 2-1 in a close game and quite honestly, that first half could have gone either way. I thought we played right there with them the entire first half,” Doherty said of the vibe going into the locker room.

“We felt like we were in a good spot. I don’t think any of us felt like we couldn’t win this game.”

Ryan Schott collides with Garret Ast during Friday’s match between Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs in Edwards.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Battle Mountain didn’t cave in during the third, navigating multiple penalty stretches by matching the Sailors’ physicality. Finally, with 3:29 remaining in the third, Cohen Vanderbosch plowed one through to put Steamboat up by two. Ast didn’t wait long to respond, taking contact from a few feet outside the 12-meter fan while firing a missile to the back of the net, making it 3-2 with 2:01 left in the quarter.

Garret Ast fires a shot on goal during the first half. Ast scored two goals for the Huskies.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

With 10:57 to go in the game, Nate Bishop came around the net and rifled a left-handed shot from in close, tying the game and cultivating the home team’s confidence in the process.

“From the first game to this game we’ve gotten a lot better, but we still have stuff to work on,” Bamford would say regarding his team’s growth, adding that ground balls and overall aggressiveness are the two things he feels still need some patchwork.

Steamboat Springs didn’t let the Huskies attempted energy shift gain steam, however, and Lyle Henninger snuck one by Bamford two minutes later to keep the favorites up by one. Then, with 6:49 remaining, Rodgers got his second goal of the game to put the Sailors up by two. The Huskies successfully killed a penalty while holding the ball in their zone with five minutes to go, then worked it around before firing a shot on goal at the four-minute mark, but came up empty. With under a minute to go, Bamford came out of the net to try and force a turnover, paving the way for George Redfern to put home an easy final score.

Thomas Dekanich moves upfield during Friday’s game between Battle Mountain and Steamboat Springs.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

“We have to score more than three goals to win a lacrosse game,” Doherty summarized. “We have to be better on the offensive end of the field. I think our defense played amazing and it’s tough when you’re in the box a lot.”

“I think we played our best; you know, we played with heart,” Bamford added. “I think our offense needs to slow it down a little bit and our defense can be a little more physical and loud, but other than that, I’m pretty happy with how we played. It was a good game.”  

The Huskies (4-4, 3-4 league) host Fruita Monument next Tuesday, while Steamboat Springs (6-1, 4-0 league) hosts Glenwood Springs next Monday.

“Onto the next one and we’re trying to get better every day,” Doherty stated. “We’ve got the weekend to regroup and Fruita and Eagle Valley next week, so two big games next week.”

Steamboat Springs wins a faceoff during the second half of Friday’s game against Battle Mountain in Edwards.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

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