Summit County, weather wear down Eagle Valley
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado ” Stinging cold temperatures forced the Summit County lacrosse team to hold its halftime meeting on its bus.
The Tigers should probably continue the practice the rest of the season.
After the quick break to warm up, Summit outscored Eagle Valley (1-2) 8-0 in the second half, including a 6-0 margin in the third quarter, to win 14-4 in Eagle. The victory improves the Tigers’ record to 5-3, with all their games on the road because Summit doesn’t have its own field.
“This is our eighth game, and our eighth time outside,” Summit coach Michael O’Neill said. “As the season goes along, we usually get better.”
Playing in weather more suitable for hibernation than lacrosse, the Tigers ran their offense to perfection in the third quarter. Jon Gutierrez fed teammate Michael Daniels with a nice pass for an easy score to push Summit ahead 7-4. A minute later, Shamus O’Neill broke free of the Devils’ defense to make it 8-4.
The onslaught continued when Dylan Horan fired a pass across the field to Daniels for another Summit tally. Daniels added his third goal of the period right before time ran out to give the Tigers a 12-4 lead.
“We moved the ball,” Michael O’Neill said. “We were pretty unselfish. You move the ball, that’s the game. I think out of our 14 goals, 10 were assisted.”
Eagle Valley starts hot
Despite the final score, the game was much closer through the first 24 minutes. Shamus O’Neill and Michael Viera staked Summit to an early 2-0 advantage, but the Devils quickly answered.
Eagle Valley’s John Landreth worked free in the middle of the field, then fired a shot past Tigers goalie Jeff Goldstein for the Devils’ first goal. Zach Bailey connected from long distance to knot the score at two.
“The boys had some space,” Eagle Valley coach Eric Mandeville said. “We capitalized on the those guys sleeping a little bit.”
In the closing minute of the first period, Eagle Valley grabbed the lead when Landreth rifled the ball into the net. The Devils weren’t done. Bailey notched his second goal to give Eagle Valley a 4-2 advantage.
“The goals they got in the first half were pretty good goals,” Michael O’Neill said. “I think a couple of times we slid early when we should have been conservative.”
Unfortunately for the Devils, the weather and a talented Summit bunch fought back. Horan scored two-straight goals, and the Tigers never looked back. Summit scored the last 12 goals of the contest.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Mandeville said. “We had a lot of positive things in the first quarter, then they came back.”
Tuesday’s setback aside, Mandeville is excited to see his team progress during its first season.
“The one attribute of our team is they have big hearts,” Mandeville said. “They’ll continue to show that. Lacrosse is a game you play and you learn by playing.”
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.