Littleton takes down Huskies, 10-8, in opener
EDWARDS — Battle Mountain lacrosse coach Jerry Nichols put it succinctly, “No one’s pressing the panic button.”
The Huskies lost their season opener, 10-8 to Littleton on Thursday evening. There were some good things — a comeback from a four-goal deficit and promising play by youngsters — and some things to work on — putting shots on net and communicating.
There’s 14 more to go, so don’t break the glass that says, “In case of emergency.”
“I thought seeing our team go down three goals and coming back toward the end of the game, the guys fought back,” Nichols said. “As I said to the team today, if that’s a sign of what we have to look forward to in terms of heart, I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Huskies were down 5-1 with four minutes left in the half, despite having the better of the possession for that stretch. Battle Mountain struggled to put its shots on target. One can safely assume that shooting will be the focus of today’s practice.
When the ball was on net, the Huskies were shooting it right at Lions keeper Patrick Little. (As always, tip your cap to Little. He made the saves.)
Nichols said the Huskies need to bounce their shots and pick their spots a little better. That can be fixed.
Battle Mountain (0-1) did start to get its collective groove going with the M & M Boys. That’s not Mantle and Maris, but Charlie Morrow and Cal Masler. Morrow had his hat trick by the half as the Huskies pulled within 5-4 at the break.
Masler heated up in the second half with the Huskies down 7-4. He got the last goal of the third quarter to make it 7-5.
Battle Mountain’s Jeremy Sforzo started the fourth quarter with a blast, and the Huskies pressed their advantage on Littleton penalties. Just 19 second later Masler scored his fourth to tie it at seven. Zane Hensel to freshman Jayme Belyea was the highlight-reel goal for the Huskies. That gave Battle Mountain an 8-7 lead briefly.
Belyea was one of three freshman who got significant playing time — Chris Cappel and Parker Nash as well — and they made an impression.
“Very impressive with their composure, their skill, their speed,” Nichols said. “It’s way faster at the varsity level. They showed they belong.”
Littleton scored the final three goals of the game — Liam O’Malley, Matty Paredes Trevor DeShon — to ice the win.
Like Battle Mountain, Littleton made the 4A playoffs last year, and aspires to do so again. The Huskies face another 2016 playoff team on Saturday when they head to the Vail Mountain School for their Western Conference opener at 2 p.m. No pep talks will likely be needed as the Gore Rangers beat the Huskies, 11-8, last season.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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