Roaring Fork girls lacrosse pulls stunner, beats Aspen to advance in 4A playoffs |

Roaring Fork girls lacrosse pulls stunner, beats Aspen to advance in 4A playoffs

Rams to play No. 2 Mead in the quarterfinals on Saturday

Aspen High School girls lacrosse player Stella Sherlock, right, tries to move ahead of Roaring Fork's Paige Pulliman on Thursday, May 11, 2023, in the second round of the 4A state playoffs on the AHS turf.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The Roaring Fork High School girls lacrosse team rallied for one of the biggest wins in program history on Thursday, beating rival Aspen 8-7 in overtime in their second-round Class 4A state playoff game on the AHS turf.

“This is a historic win for these girls,” Roaring Fork coach Chelsea Robson said. “This is big for them. Today was a team win. They worked together as a team. They knew this was on the line. They hustled. They were intense and they wanted it. They knew what was at stake.”

In recent years, Aspen had established itself as the program to beat on the Western Slope. But right behind have been the Rams, and Thursday’s victory certainly legitimized the program, largely because it was Aspen it had to beat to advance.

The Rams started hot and led 4-1 late into the first half, but the Skiers managed to score three straight goals to make it a 4-4 deadlock by halftime.

“At this point in the season, there is nothing we can do drill-wise, or a sprint that is going to make them faster,” Robson said. “At this point, it’s all about logistics. And they did it today. They did the things they needed to do to make it happen.”

After falling behind 5-4 early in the second half, Roaring Fork’s offense took over, scoring three straight goals to take a 7-5 lead with about 12 minutes to play.

The Skiers did have a final spurt, however, scoring twice in the final frame, including the game-tying goal with only 3:47 remaining that sent the game to overtime. But, less than a minute into the extra session, the Rams scored the game-winner to pull the upset.

AHS and Roaring Fork had split their regular-season meetings, each going 1-1 this spring.

“They are our biggest rival, in a really good way. These girls have all grown up playing lacrosse together,” Robson said of beating Aspen. “Obviously, we respect them as a team. They have produced some really amazing players. And I think our girls, they like playing against them. I think they’ve shown today they have exactly what it takes to match up and take it and win.”

Aspen, the No. 7 seed, ends its season 10-6 overall after having a first-round bye. It was the first season for the Skiers under head coach Rylee Skachenko.

Roaring Fork, the tournament’s No. 10 seed, advances to face No. 2 Mead in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.

Aspen boys lacrosse, the No. 14 seed, is scheduled to play against No. 3 Dakota Ridge in the second round on Friday night. The start is set for 6 p.m. at Jefferson County’s Trailblazer Stadium. The winner moves on to face either No. 6 Northfield or No. 11 Dawson School in the state quarterfinals.