Breakaway holds off 20 Somethin’ |

Breakaway holds off 20 Somethin’

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyBreakaway players Paula Habel, left, and Megan Sontum, middle, close in on Lizzie Franke of 20 Somethin' during Women's Elite action at the Vail Lacrosse Shootout Friday in Edwards. Breakaway won the game, 11-10.

EDWARDS – When Breakaway’s Nicole Traino shook off her hangover in Edwards Friday, it represented the undoing of her team’s opposition on the opening day of Women’s Elite competition at this year’s Vail Lacrosse Shootout.Or, something like that.Traino and her No.-1 seeded team from upstate New York struggled to keep pace with No. 3-seed 20 Somethin’ in the first half of , trailing 7-5 at the break. But with an upset brewing, Traino and teammate Megan Shea came to life and combined for five goals and three assists to secure a tight 11-10 victory.”What happened in the second half?” Traino said afterward, smiling. “I lost my hangover, that’s what happened.”Shea, standing by Traino’s side, first laughed, and then refined her teammate’s postgame comments somewhat.”We’re definitely a second-half team, and we’re just starting to get together now and figure it out,” she said. “We’re very pleased to get this win. It was a tough game to play in only the second game, so it’s definitely good to get over this hump.”

The matchup was a puzzling one – a showdown between two of the top three Women’s Elite teams in this year’s Vail Lacrosse Shootout on the first day of Women’s Elite play.Cassie Abel of 20 Somethin’, who was her team’s leading scorer with four goals, said she was somewhat disappointed that the two teams were seeded in the same pool together.”But, the seeding means really nothing,” she said. “They have no idea who should go where because they don’t really know how good the teams are because it changes every year. It was too bad we got seeded against them, but…”Then Abel shrugged her shoulders. To finish Abel’s sentence, maybe the matchup was a good thing because it guaranteed a heck of a good game on Day 1 – a contest that showcased what’s in store for the weekend.Breakaway, with a roster of former and current William and Mary College players, represented the East Coast talent.

Twenty Somethin’, with former and current players from DU and Colorado College, showed off some of the best the Centennial State has to offer.Abel, who is from Seattle but played her college lacrosse in Colorado, put her team on the scoreboard first when she took an assist from Emily Hemmelgarn and ripped it into Breakaway’s net past goalie Carrisa Medeiros.Shortly thereafter, Lizzie Franke of 20 Somethin’ scored an unassisted goal to put Breakaway in a 2-0 hole. Breakaway’s Brighde Dougherty changed that a few minutes later when she converted a fast-break scoring run, solving goalie Mandy Sheets of 20′ Somethin’.After that, it was a back-and-forth game until the final minute. Twenty Somethin’ extended its lead to as much as three before Breakaway scrapped back to pull the game within two at the break at 7-5.After the half, Traino and Shea caught fire. Traino scored two of three goals that put her team ahead, 8-7, then assisted on two more goals that together put her team up, 11-9. Shea’s final goal, on the assist from Traino, amounted to a second-half hat trick. She also had one assist.

In a frenetic final two minutes, Abel scored an unassisted goal to pull her team within one, then had a shot on goal with about 30 seconds remaining.The final shot was deflected, however, and Breakaway ran out the clock to preserve the win.”I think we let down on defense on the fast break a few times,” Abel said after the game. “They, as a team, stepped it up. They all played college together so they worked out the kinks together and capitalized on our weaknesses.”Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at, Colorado

Support Local Journalism