Gore Rangers lax gets by Summit County | VailDaily.com

Gore Rangers lax gets by Summit County

Vail Mountain School's Luke Verratti winds up against Summit County on Thursday in Edwards. VMS beat the Tigers, 9-7.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com |

EDWARDS — And that’s a school record.

Yes, Vail Mountain School lacrosse has a lot more on the to-do list this spring, but the Gore Rangers made it 10-1 with a 9-7 grudge-match win against Summit County, exceeding last year’s win total of nine.

“It’s really special for this program,” VMS coach Bobby Ecker said. “We have a lot of seniors who have been here since the beginning. It’s a special year for us.”

And that is dawning on the Gore Rangers as they hit the home stretch and the playoffs.

“It’s pretty awesome,” senior Todger Davis said. “It’s going to be pretty hard to say goodbye to this after the season is over. We’re going to take these next four games and the playoffs and love every moment.”

No spring break blues

VMS (10-1 overall and 7-0 in the Western Conference) hadn’t played a game in 16 days because of spring break. Returning to action can be a scary prospect.

Apparently not, for the Gore Rangers.

“The team was really focused coming back,” VMS senior Peter Tice said. “We had one goal coming back, win this game. Everyone regrouped. We played wall ball during the break. We focused up and we got the W.”

VMS got the lead with two goals from Kyle Negomir during the first quarter and never relinquished the lead, though Summit never went away. Griffin O’ Connell started his hat trick during the second.

Tyler Hancock had is usual two and Luke Verratti is still good at lacrosse with two more.

Behind the scenes, Dylan Hardenbergh, playing with an injury, moved back to defense and did a good job there. Goalie Nick Charles, as always, was clutch when Summit threatened.

Looking ahead (or not)

Since VMS has a third of its regular season after spring break, no misstep on Thursday was a nice sign. The Gore Rangers lead the Western Conference by one game over Steamboat Springs.

In a related development, VMS is at Eagle Valley on Saturday, hosts Littleton on Tuesday and then has back-to-back games against Steamboat to finish the regular season. Those two against the Sailors will likely decide the Western title.

Then, there’s the rating-percentage index. This time of year, a lot of people are clicking “refresh” on chssa.com.

“We don’t look at it,” Tice said. “We want to focus on each and every game.”

“A little bit,” Ecker said.

VMS was No. 7 before Thursday’s game, and is pretty much a lock for the postseason regardless of what happens during the final four games of the regular season.

“We set a goal as a team and we want to go deep,” Ecker said.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.

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