Lacrosse: Aspen downs Battle Mountain
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – On an afternoon where the penalty flag flew as much as the ball, the Aspen boys lacrosse team fought to keep composure against rival Battle Mountain.
A combined 20 penalties were called Friday between the host Skiers (5-0) and the Huskies (3-2), but Aspen prevailed, 11-6.
“This was an absolute great game of lacrosse to watch,” Aspen head coach Mike Goerne said. “The boys stepped up and played every single whistle all the way through. They showed a lot of maturity for a young team.”
Battle Mountain was the first to score in the second minute when Cooper Perkins eluded the Aspen defense left of the goal, then flicked the ball into the net. The Skiers responded with two straight goals – one by Joey Vernier with the Huskies a man down, and another by Colter Robinson. Aspen held a slim 3-2 lead after the first quarter.
“So far this season, we’ve been having great first quarters, and then deteriorating,” Goerne said. “We’ve been playing teams that we’ve put up some nice scores against. This is the game we’ve played every single quarter.”
In each of the four previous Aspen victories, the Skiers outscored opponents 57-12 and never scored less than 14.
In the second quarter, the Huskies offense held the ball for the first 4 minutes, 30 seconds, but could not connect for a goal. Skiers goalkeeper Jordy Cottrell kept points off the board by blocking multiple Huskies attempts. Aspen led, 5-3, at the half.
“Battle Mountain had some great shots,” Goerne said. “Jordy made that net very small for them.”
The home team began to pull away in the second half as offside and slashing penalties put Battle Mountain down two men. Colter Robinson and Brendan Wagner delivered two goals.
On the defensive end, Cottrell blocked three shots to maintain Aspen’s 8-4 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Aspen all but put the game away with three straight goals on three more Huskies penalties. By the end, Battle Mountain was penalized 13 times to Aspen’s seven.
“You just have to keep your composure and stay focused.” Goerne said of the penalties. “When we were a man down, we did a great job of keeping the ball out of the perimeter, and Jordy Cottrell stepped up huge in the goal.”
Harry Ferguson paced Aspen’s offense with four goals while Wagner and Robinson each checked in with two.
Timmy Licciardi and Reeve Sanders had two goals each for Battle Mountain.
“The middies did a great job of pushing the ball downfield offensively,” Goerne said. “This was a coin toss going in. We knew we were the underdog because they beat us badly last year.”
Last season, Battle Mountain beat Aspen 7-3 and 9-3.
“You can’t take one loss in this conference,” Goerne said. “You lose, you can’t go forward. The kids knew that coming in and they stepped up.”
During spring break, the Skiers will travel to Florida to continue training and play two games against New York’s Riverdale High School and another team from Ohio.
“The beauty of it is that we’re 5-0 right now,” Goerne said. “We’re looking to get the offense quicker and the defense stronger, and we can play some programs that have been established longer than us.”
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Under bluebird skies with 160 acres under their boots, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders took to Aspen Mountain for opening day Wednesday.