Huskies lacrosse finally takes down Aspen
EDWARDS — It’s only been two years, but that was a long time in coming for Battle Mountain boys lacrosse.
The Huskies knocked off defending state champion Aspen, 6-2, on a chilly Wednesday evening in Edwards, gaining some payback for some defining moments in this rivalry.
“It feels really good, to say the least,” Battle Mountain senior attacker Kevin Nichols said. “They’ve been building for years. Last year, they were the state champions. They are a really good program, and it feels good to come back from a loss against Dawson and beat them.”
While both teams have a decidedly different look than the last two years due to graduation — as evidenced by the Huskies’ season-opening 19-9 loss to Dawson last week — Battle Mountain needed a win over the Skiers, their arch-tormentors.
In 2014, Aspen overcame 6-0 and 7-3 leads to beat the Huskies, 8-7, in overtime in the state quarterfinals. Last year, the Skiers won twice, 5-3 in the regular season and 14-6 in the Mountain Conference championship game.
“It’s a rivalry we’ve had for a long time,” Huskies coach Jerry Nichols said. “Anytime, you beat your rival it feels great.”
With new faces in new places — Battle Mountain graduated 13 seniors last spring — the Huskies discovered that they needed to work on their defense after the loss to Dawson.
Coach Nichols felt his team was caught ball watching on backdoor cuts to the net and rather lacking in clearing the ball from its end. Things looked a lot better on Wednesday.
“I definitely noticed that our clears were so much better,” Battle Mountain goalie Erikson Hirn said. “We were talking. We had our stuff together. I felt we were a lot more collective. We knew what we were going to do and went out and did it.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Jeremy Sforzo had the first of his two goals, giving the Huskies 1-0 halftime lead. Aspen’s R.J. Peshek tied it in the third, but the Huskies’ Cole Delain, Kevin Nichols and Sforzo gave their team the lead for good.
Charlie Morrow and Ky Carradonna scored in the fourth for Battle Mountain.
That snapped a 14-game winning steak dating back to April 3 for the Skiers.
Battle Mountain hits the road for its league opener on Wednesday at Eagle Valley.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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