Vail Mountain lax stifles Aspen, moves to 4-0
Dienst, Kohlhofer lead Gore Rangers
Ten out of 10 Devils, Gore Rangers and Huskies all agree on one thing: Hating Aspen is good.
And the Skiers are 0-2 against Eagle County lacrosse teams after the Vail Mountain School suffocated Aspen, 13-4, on Friday afternoon at the lacrosse mecca that is Bandoni Alumni Field.
VMS led 6-3 at the half and then vacuumed any drama out of the second half with excellent situational lacrosse.
Aspen has a tendency to rally on teams. The Skiers are never dead until there are zeros on the clock.Think we’re joking? State quarterfinals, 2014. Battle Mountain leads Aspen, 6-0, at the half. Aspen wins 8-7 in overtime. We apologize to Huskies Nation for revisiting that trauma.
Credit VMS for assessing the situation at the half and playing accordingly. Yes, the Gore Rangers can score quickly and probably could have kept running and won the game Friday. Smart lacrosse against explosive teams like Aspen, and, say, teams VMS might face in the postseason, is to win the faceoffs (Carter Large), slow it down and be methodical on offense.
Support Local Journalism
With acknowledgment of Vail Mountain’s lofty academic goals, simply put, a team behind on the the scoreboard can’t catch up without the ball. So the Gore Rangers worked it methodically on offense, bored the Skiers to death and picked their spots nicely to put it away during the final 24 minutes.
“We tried to be really smart with the ball,” VMS coach Anders Fogel said. “We wanted good looks on offense. We just wanted to move the ball and find a good look eventually.”
While Friday’s takeaway is eexecution of situational lacrosse, check out the game’s offense. Two-thirds of the VMS’s three-headed offensive monster — Mackay Pattison and Mason Geller — combined for just two goals, which means Aspen probably had a decent chance to win, right?
The third head, Becker Dienst, went for five goals and Sebstian Kohlhofer just destroyed what was left of the Skiers’ defensive plans with a hat trick and four assists. This is why opposing head coaches won’t sleep the night before playing Vail Mountain.
Carter Large had two goals as well, while Peter Hughes also made the score sheet.
Lost in lovely offense Friday was a stout defensive effort. The Gore Rangers held Aspen to four goals. The Skiers (0-2) might be down this year, but the last time they scored fewer goals in a game was a 5-3 playoff loss to Steamboat back in 2017.
Along those lines, Fogel adores his defense and was particularly proud of senior defender Will Brown.
VMS is 4-0 and it’s exciting, but nothing gets easier next week. The Gore Rangers are at Summit on Tuesday and head to Gypsum for the rematch with Eagle Valley on Thursday.
Devils get first win
Eagle Valley girls’ lacrosse got its first win of the season by throttling Summit, 14-4, on Tuesday.
The Devils (1-2) left the Tigers in the dust with a 9-3 first half. The Rinns combined for seven goals (Sophia 5, Sienna 2), while Carley Beckum had a hat trick.
Eagle Valley hosts Summit on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Huskies baseball splits with Summit
Battle Mountain baseball is still over .500 after splitting a twinbill against Summit on in what were the league openers for both teams.
After losing the opener, 9-6, the Huskies took the nightcap, 10-7. Pitching, especially in the second game of doubleheader, is not about having fancy ERAs. It’s about soaking up innings and keeping your team in the game. Tanner Roberts, Finn Sullivan and Cooper Irwin did just that, allowing only 5 earned runs.
That works because the Huskies’ Elijah Morales drove in six runs, while going 3-for-4 and hitting his second tater of the season. Yes, it’s a darn small sample size, but Morales is hitting .750 with 2 HRs and 14 RBI in four games.
Irwin helped his own cause with an RBI knock. Pretty much everyone who stepped to the plate contributed in some way.
In the opener, Summit touched up pitchers Morales and Daniel Redinger. Both were hurt by Battle Mountain’s defense. In fairness, the visiting Tigers had some defensive issues as well.
Both Roberts and Morales had multiple-hit games in the lidlifter.
The Huskies host Steamboat Springs in another doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, Eagle Valley baseball got the unlucky season-opening doubleheader against league power Palisade earlier this week. The Bulldogs, as expected, roughed up the Devils, 15-0 and 23-4.
We acknowledge that comparing the local nines’ results against opponents like Palisade and Summit is akin to apples and oranges. The Devils will try to get into the win column on Saturday with a doubleheader against Montrose at 11 a.m. in Gypsum.
CRMS 5, Vail Christian 1 (Thursday) … The Saints still beat CRMS in the first meeting between the teams. Vail Christian is at Belleview Christian Friday.
Vail Mountain 2, Delta 1 (OT) … VMS soccer moves to 3-0 as its synergy aligns with school culture. The Gore Rangers are at CRMS on Saturday.