Grand Valley runs past Eagle Valley, 15-5
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado ” The Eagle Valley girls lacrosse team did everything in its power to challenge Grand Valley, but the Lightning stood strong ” especially in goal.
Grand Valley keeper Stephanie Long faced a steady rainfall and constant shots from the Devils. Neither seemed to bother her.
Behind Long’s stellar performance, the Lightning scored a 15-5 victory in Eagle on Saturday.
“Stephanie is a phenomenal goalie,” Grand Valley coach Robin Stevens said. “She works hard at it. Our defense works really hard. They’re disciplined.”
Even before the Lightning’s high-powered offense went to work, Long shifted the momentum in Grand Valley’s favor. Numerous times in the first half, Long turned away Eagle Valley scoring chances to keep team in front.
It didn’t take long for the Lightning attack to take advantage of the strong play from their defense. Brianna True went low for Grand Valley’s first goal. Later in the first half, Katie Heil scored from in front of the net for a 3-1 lead after she got a nice pass from a teammate behind the goal.
The tactic worked throughout the game for the Lightning.
“We work on that a lot,” Stevens said. “We work on having someone take it behind the goal to slow things down. It’s just important to slow it down a little. If you are moving too fast down there, it’s crazy.”
Grand Valley’s Mikayla Clark made it 4-1 when she eluded the Eagle Valley defense and fired a shot past goalie Jessa Girratano.
The Devils tried to claw back, but Long was there to shut the door. Eagle Valley’s Stephanie Renzelman nearly cut the deficit to 4-2, but her shot was blocked.
“We had some great spurts,” Eagle Valley coach Sarah Resch said. “They have a fantastic keeper. Our great shots were getting saved.”
Grand Valley took a 6-1 lead into halftime and continued to build on it after the break. True worked her way in close and ripped a shot for a 7-1 advantage. She scored again when Heil tossed her the ball for an easy goal.
With the Lightning leading 10-2, the Devils offense finally got Long to crack. Lauren Schmidt attacked the net and was awarded with a goal. Renzelman followed with another strong try, running around the Grand Valley defense to make the score 10-4.
Schmidt capped the 3-0 run with another goal for the Devils.
“I thought we had spurts of our game with some really great passing and shots,” Resch said. “Our defense had some great interceptions. I hope we put it together for the next time we play them.”
Grand Valley scored the last five goals of the game, including two from Clark, to finish off the 15-5 win.
“We’re going to work on placing the ball when we’re shooting, and guarding up tighter on our man-to-man defense,” Resch said.
Eagle Valley travels to Battle Mountain on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.