Huskies fall to Grand Junction

Justin McCarty |

EDWARDS — It was not the desired ending, but it was an ending, yet also a beginning of sorts.

Battle Mountain girls lacrosse finished the best regular season in the program’s history with a 17-10 loss to Grand Junction on Senior Day Friday. That defeat likely eliminated the Huskies’ hopes of a state-playoff berth.

On the other hand, that the phrases “Huskies girls lacrosse” and “playoffs” were used in the same sentence is a testament to what the 2013 squad accomplished and what may lie ahead.

So after Battle Mountain coach Emily Jaissle gave her postgame talk, the Huskies stood in a circle holding hands and then had a group hug.

“You’ve just got to remember the fun times we had together and not think about this game,” Battle Mountain’s lone senior, Hayley Clarke, said. “You want to remember it, but you also want to remember beating Aspen.”

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That will be the headlining memory of 2013, a 14-10 win against the Skiers last week, a win that was part of a breakout 10-4 season. To put a 10-4 record in perspective, Battle Mountain’s previous best season was 4-10 last spring.

“We just had a six game winning streak (coming into today),” Jaissle said. “That helps. Girls on our team are setting records in our league, which is also awesome. We have a great group of girls and they really care about each other. You feel that when you’re with them.”

Unfortunately for the sake of a happy ending and possible playoff hopes, visiting Grand Junction came out firing. The Tigers’ Ashley Preuss was all over the place with seven goals. Preuss and Battle Mountain’s Maddi Conlin, who also scored seven times, traded three goals in the first half before Grand Junction took over.

The Tigers (12-1) scored the next seven goals. While Tigers like Halle Harrison, Kacie Jay and Preuss got credit for the goals, the heart of the issue was Grand Junction’s Kristina Sewell’s play in the faceoff circle. She won most of the draws and that helped her team dominate possession.

Battle Mountain hoped that a Skylar Chaney goal to start the second half might spark a rally, but those hopes were dashed by quick scores from Preuss and Megan Gromke.

With the win, the Tigers locked up the Mountain Conference crown and the accompanying automatic state bid. Despite the Huskies’ tremendous strides this spring, it is likely the only bid that will be given to the Mountain Conference.

Since the Mountain Conference was created in 2009, CHSAA has taken only one team from the league and those champions have a cumulative 0-4 record in the postseason. As lacrosse grows in the western part of the state and Mountain teams perhaps score a postseason win or two, that may change.

But for now, the Huskies all but conceded that they will not be going to the playoffs.

That said, nothing took away from the way the Huskies honored their lone senior before the game.

“Hayley is an amazing player,” Jaissle said. “She always competes with a lot of heart. She’s always willing to pick up all the stuff that’s left. She’s kind of like a mom of the team. She will be sorely, sorely missed. I chose her as a captain my first year as a coach because I saw that leadership in her.”

“I’ve learned how to be a leader, a good friend and I’ve learned a lot about myself,” Clarke said.

There’s also the not-so-small detail that Battle Mountain girls lacrosse should be in contention for the next few years, given that everyone else on the roster returns.

“Immense (potential),” Clarke said. “I think the freshmen, when they’re seniors, for sure, have a chance of winning a state title.”


Devils dust Demons

Eagle Valley boys lacrosse capped the season with a 12-7 win at Durango Friday.

Eagle Valley (6-9) trailed, 4-3, at the half, but rallied impressively. Sam Boyd led the Devils with five goals.

“We had a great game from Cody Thurston with faceoffs and Grant Johnson in goal,” Devils coach Ted Boddy said. “The best thing was that nine different players scored a point. That shows what a complete game we played.”


Huskies’ 3,200 team eye state

Surprise, surprise, Battle Mountain track coach Rob Paris is tinkering with a 3,200-meter relay team.

OK, no surprise there, but the results were pleasant at Friday’s St. Vrain Invitational down in Longmont. The Huskies set a school record with a time of 9 minutes, 44 seconds. That’s a new school record by about 25 seconds. And, yes, that puts the team in good shape as far as state. That’s the fourth-fastest time of the year in the 3,200 relay in Class 4A.

Val Constien, Mandy Ortiz and Tesha Olsen have been the stalwarts of this squad. The issue has been finding a fourth. That would be Isabele Calabrese.

“It’s been longer than usual figuring that out,” Parish said. “With the weather and the postponements and trying to give kids a chance, it’s been a while to come together. The new piece is Izze. This is a good team that’s become a great team.”

All three local track teams are in action today at the Battle Mountain Invitational.

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