Battle Mountain girls lacrosse defeats Eagle Valley 14-6
Huskies move to 3-0 on the year
Even though undefeated Battle Mountain may have entered Friday’s girls lacrosse game against Eagle Valley having poured in 36 points in their first two wins, you kind of expected the rivalry game to be chippy and low scoring. On a beautiful 60-degree sunny day in Gypsum, that’s how it started.
“We were a little impatient in the first half,” said Huskies coach Mat Ballay.
After trading their opening two scores, Alexandra Dienst received a beautiful centering pass from Sophie Vardaman to go up 3-2. Another quick score by Lauren Vardaman made it 4-2 with just 13:47 remaining in the half. There was no special twin connection on this one.
“Most games we do, but like it’s kind of just normal,” Vardaman said.
Superb goalie work from Justine St. John kept the score low and tight for the next several minutes. Huskies senior captain Marley Lindner had a point blank attempt rejected with 7:40 to go. Lindner, playing in her final down-valley game, was energized for one final dual.
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“After four years, I think it means a lot to us,” she said. “You want it more than you’ve ever wanted it.”
Eagle Valley brought the ball back to their end, but was stagnant offensively.
“We just never got into a groove,” admitted coach Todd Beckum.
Lauren Vardaman was active all day, attacking the middle and missing high to the right at the four-minute mark. Two minutes later a nifty give and go with Molly Kessenich ended with another near miss. Persistence paid off when her score with 1:47 remaining made it 5-3 Battle Mountain.
In the second half, Vardaman was part of a rash of three Huskies goals in a 2:32-minute span.
Instead of “taking that first look,” according to Ballay, his team settled down.
“We started sharing the rock and the goals in the second half reflected that.”
It was 9-4 after an incredible timing pass from Vardaman — a needle-threader in traffic that would have impressed Brett Favre — found Kessenich’s stick up the middle for an easy goal.
Constantly darting in traffic, Vardaman claimed she is “definitely looking to pass first.” “Because it’s not all about the score, it’s how you get there,” she said.
Kessinich was perhaps the MVP of the game, though.
“Her control of the draw and effort on ground balls had the most significant impact on the outcome of the game,” said Ballay.
Sidney Collett responded to make it 9-5 90-seconds later, bringing some hope back to the Devil fans.
“In the second half we were right there,” Beckum argued.
Three consecutive Huskies scores from Dienst, Lindner and Carter Youngblood, respectively, made it 12-5 with 10:35 to go. A goal from Annie Hilgartner took any hope of a comeback out of the Devils, and the 14-6 final was on the board for the clocks final seven minutes.
“To get that one especially after coming back from last year was incredible,” Lindner stated. “We all wanted it as a team so we played as a team and we played for each other and it was amazing to see that come together.”
Eagle Valley defeated Battle Mountain twice in 2021.
“So, this is a great result,” noted Ballay.
“We’re off to a good start.”
“They were cutting really well all day long,” Beckum said of his opponents. ““They looked cohesive — tip of the hat to them for sure.”
While Lindner noted the obvious goal is to win, the Huskies are focused on doing it the right way.
“We want to win,” she remarked.
“But the main goal is to uphold our teamwork to get to that goal.”