Aspen boys lacrosse finds offense after halftime to cruise in first-round win
Skiers will play No. 3 Dakota Ridge on Friday
Once the floodgates were open, the goals came in a hurry for the Aspen High School boys lacrosse team in a 12-2 rout of visiting Littleton on Tuesday to begin the Class 4A state tournament.
“We did not put it to them in the beginning,” AHS coach Tommy Cox said. “Their goalie, I have to give him credit, that is one of the best high school games I’ve ever seen a goalie play in my life. But we were able to find some tendencies, pulled the play wide, used our athleticism and ultimately finish the ball.”
The Skiers only led 2-0 at halftime — thanks mostly to the play of Littleton’s goalie, Carter Wasson — but scored five more times in the third quarter to break it open.
“Just really understanding how to get the goalie moving,” Cox said about finally opening up the offense. “When you shoot from 15 yards, it’s a pretty easy save, but we were able to adjust our play. The boys responded well.”
The lead reached 11-0 well into the fourth quarter before the Lions finally scored. AHS sophomore Treven Ward held his own in net for the Skiers, with the backups finishing out the final few minutes for Aspen.
“Our defense has been our rock all year long,” Cox said. “When we struggled to score goals, when we struggled to get the ball rolling, that defense holds tight every time. Treven Ward played awesome, per usual. Our defense was structurally sound and rotated well and slid well.”
Littleton, the No. 19 seed, ends its season at 8-8 overall. The Lions lost six straight to close out the spring.
Aspen, the No. 14 seed, improved to 10-5 overall. Next up, the Skiers will play at No. 3 seed Dakota Ridge (13-2), a game tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Jefferson County’s Trailblazer Stadium.
The Eagles, who had a first-round bye, will enter the game riding a 12-game win streak. Dakota Ridge’s only losses came early in the season against Erie, the No. 2 seed in 4A, and Chatfield, the No. 19 seed in 5A.
“Our biggest opponent this year has been Aspen and when we are able to overcome our challenges that we set forth for ourselves, we are a successful team,” Cox said. “We are not afraid of anybody and there is really no team in this state that is unbeatable. I think with the correct game plan, a high IQ, we will absolutely make it a game.”
The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team will open its postseason on Thursday against rival Roaring Fork. Game time is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on the AHS turf, following the girls soccer game at 5 p.m.
The Rams (11-5 overall) are seeded No. 10 in the Class 4A bracket and beat No. 23 seed Grand Junction in the first round on Tuesday, 16-7.
Aspen (10-5) is the No. 7 seed and had a first-round bye.
The Aspen and Roaring Fork girls lacrosse teams played twice in the regular season, AHS losing 10-9 on April 10 before winning 11-9 on May 6, the last time the Skiers played a game.
Roaring Fork and Aspen tied for second in league play behind Battle Mountain this spring. The Huskies are the tournament’s No. 9 seed and face No. 8 Thompson Valley in the second round.
The Aspen High School girls soccer team (7-5-1 overall) is the No. 12 seed in the 3A state tournament and is scheduled to host No. 21 STRIVE Prep — SMART (11-4) at 5 p.m. Thursday on the AHS turf. The winner advances to play either No. 5 Colorado Academy or No. 28 Woodland Park in the second round.
Basalt girls soccer made the tournament as the No. 19 seed and plays at No. 14 Salida in the first round. That game is tentatively set for 6 p.m. Thursday in Salida. The winner gets either No. 3 Manitou Springs or No. 30 Elizabeth in the next round.
The Roaring Fork girls are the No. 17 seed and will play Thursday at No. 16 St. Mary’s Academy in the first round. Game time is tentatively set for 3 p.m.
The Class 3A state tournament draws were announced for girls tennis ahead of the opening rounds on Thursday in Colorado Springs. The lone qualifier for Aspen was senior Hannah Zack at No. 3 singles. She will face D’Evelyn senior Maisy Schoeman in the opener.
Basalt did not have any players qualify for state.
Persson, O’Sullivan lead AHS girls golf into thick of Day 1 championship hunt
This is a program that was happy just to be able to field a four-person team only a few years ago. Now, it’s knocking on the door of a first state championship, and it could come Wednesday on its home course.