Third quarter run propels Gore Rangers to 10-7 win over Huskies in boys lacrosse |

Third quarter run propels Gore Rangers to 10-7 win over Huskies in boys lacrosse

Vail Mountain School went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter to claim first win of the season

Vail Mountain School won it's first game of the season with a 10-7 victory over Battle Mountain on Friday at home.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Friday night’s boys lacrosse matchup between Vail Mountain School and Battle Mountain was a tale of two halves. The Huskies controlled a defensive first before the floodgates opened up for the Gore Rangers in the second. VMS benefited from a multiple man-up advantage in the third, outscoring Battle Mountain 8-0 in the period en route to a 10-7 victory.

“It was a hard fought game but it was still clean,” said Vail Mountain coach Stephen Michel after his team’s first win of the year. “It was good lacrosse all the way around.”

Battle Mountain’s Max Larson is chased by Nolan Kim in the first quarter on Friday.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

 In the first quarter, shots on goal were hard to come by as both squads were patient on offense and stingy on defense, riding attackers wide and away from the goal.

“I mean it was definitely a defensive battle in the first half,” Battle Mountain coach Pat Doherty said. “A back-and-forth game.”

The Huskies struck first when Max Larson wheeled around the perimeter and behind the net to the opposite side of the field. Upon finishing his reversal, he centered it to Keelan Losa, who popped in the game’s first goal with 5:03 left in the quarter. It was 1-0 at the end of the first and 2-1 at the end of a relatively uneventful second.

Support Local Journalism

“We were doing what we usually do,” Michel said of the first 24 minutes of regulation. “I told them, it’s like, just stick with the offense and be patient and it will start falling.”

Erikj Jaerbyn makes a move on the offensive end during Friday’s win over Battle Mountain.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

His halftime words were prescient. Mason Geller came out 47 seconds into the third with a wrap-around score, his first of the night. Thirty-eight seconds later, Charlie Vidal received a swing pass and rifled a side shot low. It bounced just inside the right post for the first of his team-high three goals.

“We had good leadership from our seniors from Nolan Kim to Mason Gellar and Max Vidal. And Charlie stepped up and carried the load offensively,” Michel stated.  

With 9:09 to go in the second, Vidal was in the middle of the field and found Brady Malboeuf cutting from the wing. He delivered a pinpoint pass to Malboeuf, who converted to put his team ahead 4-2. Malboeuf kept the pay-it-forward going, finding Colby Saunders with a dime across his body from behind the net. Saunders, charging from the right side, made a nice catch-and-shoot high-to-low score to make it 5-2 with 7:48 remaining.

Nate Bishop heads upfield in the second quarter.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

The physicality escalated in the final three minutes of the quarter, culminating in a slashing call against the Huskies. A pair of the team’s assistant coaches were upset by the call and ended up getting thrown out of the game, resulting in two three-minute unreleasable penalties, plus the original slashing penalty, against Battle Mountain.

“Everyone seemed to be super hyped up and both teams needed to calm down a little bit,” Doherty said. Vail Mountain School capitalized on the two-man up advantage immediately, as Charlie Vidal scored 12 seconds after play resumed. His older brother scored twice more in a 40-second time span and Jaerbyn got a pass on the wing from Geller and converted to make it 9-2 in the final flurry.

Battle Mountain’s Keelan Losa looks for an open teammate during the second quarter of Friday’s game against Vail Mountain School.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

“We were fortunate to be man-up there for a bit and we were able to convert,” Michel said of the game’s turning point. In the fourth, Battle Mountain got going again, with Jack Pryor and Hunter Roach each scoring twice. With 2:21 remaining, it was 10-7.

“I was super proud of the way the team reacted,” Doherty said.

“Seeing (goalie) Seth (Bamford) stand in there during the third quarter and get shot after shot after shot and then to come back to fight as a team in the fourth and make a run and make it a competitive game — that’s a testament to this team and we’re going to carry that energy over to the next games.”  

Ultimately, the Gore Rangers remained steadfast, improving to 1-1, the same record as the Huskies.

“Part of what these games come down to is who wants it more and our guys wanted it in their house,” Michel said. Having lost 12 seniors from last year’s squad, the coach said it’s been challenging at times to bring everyone up to speed on a new system.

“We lost our offensive coordinator as well so we’re putting in a new offense, new clears — everything is new,” he said. “But what that means for these kids is opportunity and we’ve had a lot of kids who have stepped up and taken advantage of it.”

Doherty was able to bring some positivity from the loss, too.

“If we play four quarters with the energy we had in that fourth, we’re going to be hard to deal with,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys. We’ve got a lot to work on still, but I’m so excited to be with this team. The potential is super high.”

Battle Mountain’s Max Larson is chased by Vail Mountain School’s Nolan Kim during the second quarter of the Gore Rangers’ 10-7 win.
Ryan Sederquist/Vail Daily

Support Local Journalism