Aspen boys lax beats Durango on senior day, eyes home playoff game this week
It was far from a perfect contest for the Aspen High School boys lacrosse team, but considering the circumstances, coach David Miller will take it. With pre-game senior day festivities and thoughts of the playoffs on the mind, the Skiers took down visiting Durango 13-3 on Saturday to close out the regular season.
“They played OK,” Miller said. “Once again we played down to our competition’s level, which is never a good thing, especially going into the second season.”
Aspen led 5-1 at halftime and 9-2 after three quarters. Seniors R.J. Peshek and Robbie Fitzgerald had three goals and three assists each.
While the Skiers said goodbye to their 10 seniors, it’s unlikely that was their final game on the AHS turf.
“We really need to be performing to our best at this time of the year. We’ll see what happens,” Miller said. “We’ll see what happens for playoffs. It all depends on how the RPI settles down.”
Durango finished the regular season 8-6 overall and will need some things to fall their way in order to make the Class 4A state bracket. They were No. 17 in RPI as of Saturday afternoon.
Aspen’s chances of making the 16-team bracket are all but guaranteed. The Skiers finished the regular season 12-2 overall and a perfect 10-0 in league play. They had an RPI of 6 as of Saturday afternoon.
Aspen’s two losses came against Thompson Valley (RPI No. 1) and Steamboat Springs (RPI No. 4).
“I really don’t know how we’ll prepare for next week because there are four or five teams we have to prepare for,” Miller said. “Hopefully I have two days to do it. I may only have one.”
The state playoff brackets are expected to be announced Monday morning, with the first-round games being played either Tuesday or Wednesday. AHS was a No. 7 seed a season ago when it went 11-5 overall, falling to No. 10 seed Steamboat Springs in the first round.
Should the stars align, there is the possibility that Aspen hosts three home playoff games in two different sports on Wednesday.
The Aspen girls lacrosse team closed out the regular season with a 14-5 win on the road at Conifer on Saturday to finish 11-3 overall. AHS had an RPI of 14 as of 3 p.m. Saturday. In girls lacrosse, which has a 20-team playoff bracket, only the bottom eight seeds play a first-round game.
The girls soccer brackets will be announced on Sunday. Aspen’s RPI was 13 as of Saturday evening and is likely to host a first-round game on Wednesday.
“That would be the best of all worlds, if we could have girls home soccer, girls home lacrosse and boys home lacrosse,” Miller said. “That would be fantastic.”
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One of the Demons’ key players, senior co-captain Graci Dietrich has severe hearing loss and relies on hand signs and lip-reading, rather than verbal communication, between her basketball teammates and coaches.