Aspen girls lacrosse beats Roaring Fork, chasing a deeper playoff run this season
There isn’t a whole lot left for the Aspen High School girls lacrosse team to accomplish after back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and a string of league titles.
That is, other than winning the whole darn thing, and it’s that coveted state championship the team is again chasing.
It’s part of the Skiers’ “progress, not perfection” mantra this spring.
“We’ve had the perfect records, but now we are really looking to get past quarterfinals,” AHS coach Amanda Trendell said after a 15-9 home win over Roaring Fork on Tuesday. “Last year we didn’t have the opportunity to play out of league, so being able to play Evergreen, Arapahoe, Castle View and teams that did go past the quarterfinals and pair it with a 5A, just seeing that pace of lacrosse, learning from it and just seeing how me match up against it and what we need to work on is going to be the real catalyst this year.”
Trendell, who took over the program ahead of the 2018 season, has made AHS girls lacrosse the premier program on the Western Slope, and one of the best in the state. In her three seasons — the 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic — Aspen has never lost a league game.
In 2019, the Skiers went a perfect 15-0 in the regular season before losing to Valor Christian in the second round of the state playoffs. In 2021, the team went 10-0 in the shortened regular season before a heartbreaking 10-9 quarterfinal loss to Castle View to open the playoffs. Castle View eventually lost to Evergreen in the championship game, 19-5.
Another undefeated regular season would be nice this spring, but the Skiers would trade in that bit of perfection for a deep playoff run next month.
“We are ready to get redemption from last year. I know we are all working really hard,” said AHS senior Lindsey Heinecken. “We have that incentive to want to work and be undefeated in the Mountain League and then go from there.”
After rolling through their first three opponents this season — Durango (17-3), Eagle Valley (14-3) and Summit (21-1) — the Skiers were tested by the Rams on Tuesday. It was a matchup of top-10 teams in Class 4A, with Aspen coming in at No. 6 this week in the CHSAANow.com poll, and Roaring Fork at No. 10.
Photos: Aspen girls lacrosse vs Roaring Fork
Leading 5-4 at halftime, Aspen pushed its lead out to 8-5 early in the second half before a quick rally by the visitors made it 8-8 with 14 minutes to play. The Skiers dominated the final stretch, however, pulling away for the 15-9 win in their home opener to move to 4-0 on the season.
The Rams dropped to 3-1 overall after previously beating Montrose (11-5), Summit (20-4) and Steamboat Springs (16-5).
“They are a really good team,” Heinecken said of playing Roaring Fork. “It’s some of the girls I’ve grown up with, so it’s a good rivalry because we are all friends. But they also match our intensity really well and our skills. But it’s definitely a team that I like to play because we want to beat them because we want to be the best in the valley.”
Aspen next travels to Battle Mountain on Friday before hosting No. 2 Green Mountain in a non-league game on Saturday afternoon that could have major seeding implications down the line.
Green Mountain beat Roaring Fork in the first round of the state tournament last spring, 15-8, before losing to Evergreen in the quarterfinals, 15-5.
The long drives to Denver to play competitive club softball and fine-tune her skills during the offseason are paying off for Glenwood Springs High School senior Kiera Larson.