Aspen boys lacrosse turns back Fruita Monument

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Aspen High School boys lacrosse returned to its home field on a mission Tuesday night.

The Skiers, with a chance to play their way into the Mountain League playoffs, turned back visiting Fruita Monument 11-3 courtesy of a fast start and a reliable defense.

“We knew we had to come out here and stay focused. And that’s what we did,” said Aspen senior Jonathan Wells who scored four goals to lead the Skiers, including the opening two goals of the game.

He scored the opener 1:21 into the game, taking a pass from fellow senior Burke Daily.

His second goal came a minute later.

Fruita Monument’s Aaron Everitt scored to cut Aspen’s early lead to 2-1.

The Skiers potted the next five goals — Reece Cohan, Henry Godfrey, Jordan Hornburg, Daily and Wells.

Their only goal allowed to Fruita Monument in the second quarter came on an Aspen own-goal when an attempted clear on the ground wound up in the Skiers’ net.

With Aspen leading 7-2 at halftime, the teams played a scoreless third quarter.

A Fruita Monument goal from Michael Anton pulled the Wildcats to within 7-3 with 8:56 to play in the game.

But the Skiers answered with a man-advantage goal from Daily, assisted by Hornburg.

RJ Peshek, Wells and Godfrey added the final goals for Aspen in the key Mountain League game with the Skiers advancing to the conference playoffs against an as yet undetermined opponent on Friday on the road.

Meanwhile, the Aspen boys lacrosse team will host Grand Junction in the annual senior day game at 4 p.m. today at Aspen School District Stadium.

Wells, crediting his teammates with hard work in his four goals, said the Skiers have been focused in this second half of the season.

A game last Friday at No. 1 Alexander Dawson in Lafayette, showed the Skiers what focus could do, he said.

“We played great, we just didn’t play a full four quarters,” Wells said.

The Skiers lost to the state’s top-ranked team 20-11.

Another road loss at Windsor (13-2) made Tuesday’s home showdown with Fruita Monument even more significant, according to Wells, who also had four assists in the win.

Aspen moved to 7-6 overall and 6-2 in the Mountain League.

Fruita Monument dropped to 7-2 in league play, 10-4 overall. The Wildcats are a Class 5A school playing in the combined 4A/5A Mountain League. Grand Junction also is a 5A school in the league. For either Grand Junction or Fruita Monument to advance to the Class 5A state playoffs, they must win the Mountain League outright.

The Class 4A top teams in the league, meanwhile, will play for a state playoff berth on Friday.

Aspen will close the regular season at 4 p.m. today when Grand Junction High School visits Aspen School District Stadium.