Aspen High boys lacrosse finishes off Evergreen with Battle Mountain up next
The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team used a strong second-half push in the nightcap of Wednesday’s AHS playoff trifecta to beat visiting Evergreen, 10-5, in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament.
“They are a great team. Their No. 1 guy was out with an injury, so that hamstrung them a lot,” AHS coach David Miller said. “But I think our kids really responded to the situations they were put in. Of course, we can always clean it up a little bit, but this is a really good win.”
Aspen, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, looked like the better team by the end of the game against the No. 11-seeded Cougars. Neither team scored in the first quarter, and it was a goal by Robbie Fitzgerald early in the second that gave AHS the 1-0 lead.
Evergreen quickly tied the contest at 1-1, but by halftime the Skiers had built a 5-2 lead. Reece Cohan scored with 1:14 to play in the half to make it 4-2, and Fitzgerald got another with only three seconds to play until the break to give the Skiers the three-goal advantage.
The Cougars would get no closer than 6-3 in the third quarter, and AHS had a comfortable 9-3 lead going into the fourth.
Evergreen did have one final push in them, getting two quick goals to open the fourth quarter and cut it to 9-5 with a good nine minutes to play. The Skiers shut the door on them from there, a final goal from Cohan with 2:07 to go being the final dagger.
Evergreen finished the season 12-4 overall.
Aspen, now 13-2 overall, will stay this side of the Rockies when they travel to No. 3 seed Battle Mountain on Friday. The Huskies beat No. 14 seed Windsor, 10-5, in the first round.
This was Aspen’s first playoff win since 2015, the year it won the 4A state championship.
“It’s going to be an easy drive to Vail instead of going to Durango or Telluride,” Miller laughed. “That was the first step to, hopefully, Mile High.”
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Once the Aspen High School defense woke up — random 4 p.m. kickoffs need some getting used to — the Skiers were able to dictate Saturday’s football game en route to a 22-7 victory over visiting Steamboat Springs on the AHS turf.