Eagle Valley tops Battle Mountain on Senior Day | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley tops Battle Mountain on Senior Day

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
EVGLAX Stephanie Renzelman DT 4-18-09

GYPSUM, Colorado ” The Eagle Valley girls lacrosse team sent out its seniors in the best way possible on Saturday. The Devils scored a 16-5 victory over rival Battle Mountain in Gypsum.

Precision shooting and stout defense fueled the win in the home finale.

“Senior Day was fantastic,” Eagle Valley coach Sarah Resch said. “It was great weather, great energy. I’m really proud of the seniors.”

Two of those seniors played a significant role in the dominant victory. Stephanie Renzelman knifed her way through the Huskies’ defense for seven goals. Defensively, goalie Jessa Girratano did her best Patrick Roy impersonation by knocking away plenty of Battle Mountain scoring chances.

The duo were two of 12 seniors playing their last home game.

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“We started the team their freshman year,” Resch said. “That core group has stuck with us for the last four years. Their skills have developed so much. They’ve really set the program off to a great start in terms of the atmosphere and the energy we have. It’s really positive. The seniors will be missed.”

Once the pregame ceremonies ended, Eagle Valley fans were treated with one last fine performance. Fittingly, Renzelman scored the game’s first two goals to give the Devils a 2-0 edge. On the second score, Renzelman made a perfect shot past the goalie and into the right side of the net.

“Stephanie is an incredible lacrosse player,” Resch said. “How good she’s gotten in four years ” having never seen a lacrosse game until her freshman year ” is incredible. She has a fantastic shot.”

Eagle Valley kept pushing the tempo in the first half. Ashley Atencio sprinted into the zone and scored for a 5-0 lead. Minutes later, Elise Byron and Renzelman added tallies.

After being turned away on a number of tries, Battle Mountain finally got on the board when Annie Talbot bounced a shot into the goal.

“I think we just had an off day,” Battle Mountain coach Stacy Schapira said. “We were missing some players. I think we didn’t go out with the strength that we did last week. You have those days.

“Defensively, they caught on to our runs and just shut them down.”

Give credit to Girratano for that. A handful of times, the Huskies pushed the ball into the Eagle Valley zone only to come away empty-handed. Along with Girratano, the Eagle Valley defense made a concerted effort to stop Battle Mountain’s Kristi Waring after she scored eight goals in the two teams’ last meeting.

“The defense definitely saw (Waring) more,” Girratano said. “Instead of letting her run in, a lot more people got on her.”

Eagle Valley continued to add to its 9-3 halftime lead after the break. Amanda Morgan scored less than a minute into the second half with a nice, low shot. Byron and Renzelman both scored to make it 12-3.

The Huskies responded with goals by Sarah Melzer and Waring, but it was too late. It wasn’t the loss that stung most for Battle Mountain, it was the fact that it didn’t have its best stuff on Saturday.

“We’re no longer thinking of ourselves as this team that everyone can beat,” Schapira said. “We’re this team that we know is going to grow and we can compete with everybody.”

Both teams are on the road next week. Battle Mountain travels to Durango and Grand Valley next weekend. The Devils are at Grand Valley on Tuesday.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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