Vail Valley preps: Devils hold off Huskies in 9-7 thriller
EDWARDS – The final two minutes of Wednesday’s Eagle Valley-Battle Mountain girls lacrosse game seemed to last forever with the Devils clinging to a 9-7 lead.
“It felt like a good five minutes,” Eagle Valley goalie Milaina Salazar said. “It was really long.”
It was even longer because Battle Mountain had a one-man advantage and threw the kitchen sink at Eagle Valley.
“Those last two minutes just had me in such a grip,” Devils coach Kim Andree said. “I couldn’t move. I felt almost paralyzed.”
But Salazar stood tall between the pipes for the Devils, making superb stops to preserve the 9-7 win.
“That girl, she is just amazing to me,” Andree said of Salazar. “Every time, I think she’s having a bad moment, she just changes my mind. She tightens up and gives it everything.”
With 1:59 left, the Devils got flagged and the Huskies did their best to come back on Eagle Valley. The Bosworth sisters (Melissa to Becca) closed the Devils’ lead to 9-7, but that was all Battle Mountain would get.
Salazar denied a point-blank shot from Battle Mountain’s Rylee McMillin. She also stoned the Huskies’ Becca Bosworth and Clare Baker as the final seconds of the game ticked off frantically and slowly at the same time.
“It’s more of me getting angry and taking my frustration out on the ball,” Salazar said. “It’s like a huge adrenaline rush. I just go for it.”
All in all, it was a great afternoon of lacrosse. Eagle Valley has had its way in the first five meetings between the two rivals, but Wednesday, Battle Mountain gave the Devils everything they could handle.
“It was a great effort. I’m so proud of my girls,” Huskies coach Stacy Schapira said. “To play their best game of the year against their rivals like that was awesome.”
And that’s saying something, given that the Huskies were coming off two wins against Telluride last week.
This one went back-and-forth with neither team having more than a one-goal advantage until Eagle Valley’s Haley Hutton scored her hat-trick goal for an 8-6 lead with 13:22 left in the second half.
Eagle Valley’s Kayla Gagnon had five goals, while Jessica Trujillo had a first-half goal. Baker had three for Battle Mountain; Bosworth two and Maddi Conlin and Rylee McMillin one each.
Battle Mountain honored its seniors and departing juniors at halftime. They are McMillin, Stephanie Thomas, Britanny Jackson, Bosworth, Kaytlyn Samuelson and Ali Feeney.
“They’ve helped me start the program. They’ve been here through thick and thin, all the wins and losses,” Schapira said. “I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Battle Mountain ends the season with a road game Friday at Aspen. Eagle Valley hosts Durango Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. Saturday will be the Devils’ turn to honor their seniors.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
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