Devils lax crushes Steamboat, 13-3
One week to go as race tightens
GYPSUM — So how to describe Eagle Valley lacrosse’s 13-3 win over Steamboat Springs on Wednesday?
Dominating? Yes. Spirited? Yes. Fun? Of course. But really there is only one word that does it justice: Boring.
For some reason, the Devils did not get hit by a bus in the parking lot and find themselves down 4-0 after the first quarter. No heroic comebacks were needed — the Devils led, 8-2, at the half. The Devils didn’t even require a kick-save from goalie Xander Kostick. In fact, the senior keeper was out of the game by the end.
Eagle Valley played a perfectly boring game, and it was a joy to see. Boring is good, especially when you lost to the same team on the road, 9-8, earlier this year. Boring is also good when you want to stay alive and kicking in the 4A Western Conference title chase, not to mention also being in the running for an at-large berth to the state playoffs, should the Devils not win the West.
Since there was delightfully no drama on the field, fans had time to think of other things related to Eagle Valley lacrosse, like which family has the most members on the team?
It is not the Petersens, which would have been most peoples’ first guess. The Devils only have two in Erich and Julius with Philip graduating last spring. For the record, Erich had a hat trick Wednesday and Julius also found the net.
The answer though is the Miner clan with four — Declan, Nolan and Conal. And don’t forget Dad — aka Coach Miner, or Mike, who coaches JV and assists with the varsity.
“You’ve really got to live up to the standard,“ said Declan, who did live up to the mythical Miner rules by having his own hat trick. ”My dad’s a coach, so he’s got really hard expectations for us. My brothers, if they mess up, I know I’ll get some backlash from them. You have to be on your game.
“On top of that, it’s really great having them out there. Lacrosse is a big family thing.”
And since we’re on families, say hi to Sebastian Witt. As has been documented, he is off to West Point, following his brothers in attending the service academies — Ben graduated from Navy and David precedes Sebie at Army.
The youngest Witt needs to report to the banks of the Hudson on June 26. This may work just yet, though. Were the Devils to advance all the way, the title game is scheduled for June 22.
“I think I’m OK. If I have to, I’ll play the last game and then get on a plane,“ Witt said.
And that’s good news as the Devils will probably need their long-stick middie by the title game. Just saying.
Ironically, by putting Steamboat away in the first half, which was goal No. 1 of Wednesday, Eagle Valley made work for itself in the second half.
With an 8-2 lead after 24 minutes, Eagle Valley’s halftime talk was all about being deliberate on offense in the second half, something the Devils haven’t been able to practice because they’re usually mounting a comeback.
Eagle Valley did well on that count during the third quarter before subbing in players for the fourth. That included a rest for keeper Kostick, who continues to be solid for the Devils, despite starting the season as a midfielder.
Nonetheless, coach Nick Carter gave Kostick a rest and inserted freshman Colin Desmond for part of the fourth. The frosh saved the only shot he faced and now has a perfect 100% save rate, which was the talk of postgame.
At 5-2, Eagle Valley can still win the league by winning out and getting some help from an unexpected source. The Devils have two games with Summit sandwiched around Tuesday’s Biggest Game in the History of Everything … Until the Next One against Battle Mountain in Gypsum.
The first key is to avoid the what-the-heck loss against Summit. The other fundamental is that Battle Mountain, after losing to Eagle Valley on Tuesday in this hypothetical, needs to beat Vail Mountain on Wednesday for the Devils to take the top spot.
“I don’t like rooting for Battle Mountain,” Carter said. “but we’re rooting for Battle Mountain.”