Aspen High boys lacrosse rallies from five goals down to beat Fruita Monument

Aspen's Henry Ferguson, left, battles for a loose ball against Fruita Monument on Tuesday.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

There for a time, Aspen High School boys lacrosse coach David Miller thought he had left most of his team in the desert. It took a strong second-half rally Tuesday against visiting Fruita Monument to convince him otherwise.

“Apparently, Aspen is still on spring break,” Miller said. “I expected more from my guys, being that we had most of our guys show up to our spring training in Arizona. I expected more, but this is why you play the game.”

Miller had more than 20 players travel with him to Arizona last week over spring break, where they spent hours each day playing lacrosse. For that reason, the Skiers weren’t expected to come out as rusty as they did Tuesday against the Wildcats, their first game since the weeklong hiatus.

Aspen eventually won 9-7 on the AHS turf, but it came with quite the uphill climb. The Skiers managed to put themselves into a 6-1 hole in the first half, but had managed to rally and tie the game at 6-6 early in the fourth quarter.

A goal by Robbie Fitzgerald with a touch under nine minutes to play proved to be the game-winner. Reece Cohan made it 8-6 about five minutes later and Tyler Ward essentially iced the game with his goal with less than two minutes to play.

The Wildcats ended Aspen’s run of eight unanswered goals with their final goal with 83 seconds to play.

“Lacrosse is a game of momentum. There are ebbs and flows in every game,” Miller said. “Our defense basically shut them down in the third quarter, and that’s what really got the offense to stop gripping the sticks so hard and start playing with a little more flow and finesse.”

Class 5A Fruita Monument fell to 4-2 overall. Aspen improved to 3-1, its only loss coming by a goal in the season opener against Steamboat Springs. The Skiers came in a No. 17 in Class 3A’s RPI rankings when the first standings of the season were revealed on Tuesday.

The Skiers are off until next Wednesday when they travel to Grand Junction.

The AHS girls lacrosse team came in a No. 28 in 3A when the RPI standings were revealed Tuesday. Aspen, 3-1 overall, is scheduled to host Fruita Monument at 4 p.m. today on the AHS turf. The Aspen girls haven’t played since a win over Steamboat Springs on March 21, prior to spring break.