Aspen High School girls lacrosse enjoys being out of the spotlight as season (hopefully) gets going
The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team is oddly happy about not being ranked to begin the 2019 season. Including the eight that received at least a vote in the preseason CHSSANow.com poll, there are 18 squads getting at least some statewide attention prior to play.
But, as far as the Skiers are concerned, not being one of them is a good thing.
“That’s exactly where you want to be,” AHS coach Amanda Trendell said. “I love the dedication of these girls and I think they are hungry. As I said, there is not a better position to be in when people don’t know how good you are.”
Aspen went 12-4 in Trendell’s first season a year ago, going a perfect 7-0 in league play. They made it to the second round of the state tournament (there are no classifications in girls lacrosse), losing as the No. 13 seed to No. 4 Regis Jesuit, 15-7.
“I definitely think it’s possible and I definitely think we can go farther than that,” AHS senior Kate Citron said of returning to the postseason. “We have a lot of really strong players and in our second year with Amanda everyone is more comfortable and knows her style.”
Trendell was a late hire last spring and was only able to join the team after practices had officially begun. The New York-native played collegiately at Rutgers not that long ago.
Having had an entire offseason to build the program to her liking, the expectations are sure to climb.
“She really pushes us to work as hard as we possibly can,” AHS senior Tyler Greene said. “Last year that definitely proved to be very optimal for our team. We got really far and I think her high expectations force us to work harder.”
Aspen lost eight seniors from a year ago, many of who were key starters. But returning is plenty of firepower, including senior Charlotte Howie, sophomore Kylie Kenny and senior Sabrina Turbidy, all talented offensive threats.
With an influx of gifted underclassmen also in the mix, the expectation is to continue winning.
“The athleticism piece is really there this year,” Trendell said. “Last year we had really good lacrosse players, but now we also have some really good athletes, especially our underclassmen. So I’m excited to see it all come together.”
Now, getting to see that happen is easier said than done. The Skiers should be three games into their season, but had all three postponed for weather-related reasons. The newest season opener is supposed to be Wednesday at Battle Mountain, although forecasted snow in the central mountains could have an impact.
“We got about five games built up into one,” Citron said of waiting around to play. “It was a bummer not being able to get in some games, and especially scrimmages, just to see how we all work as a team on the field. But I can already tell through practice that we are going to come out strong.”
Barring any more weather delays or the possibility of rescheduling games, the Skiers would play Wednesday in Edwards then travel to Steamboat Springs next Wednesday before going on spring break. The team will be in California for some of the break, including a game with Cate School near Santa Barbara. The Rams also hosted the Skiers back in 2017.
Aspen has a few key non-league games on schedule, such as when it hosts Golden on April 6, their first game back from spring break, and an April 10 trip to Air Academy. Aspen beat Air Academy in the first round of the state tournament last spring.
“Our biggest thing this year is no second chances. It’s a metaphor, but it’s also a term on the field,” Trendell said. “If a ball comes down, we play for no second chance. When that game and that whistle blows, there isn’t a second chance. We are putting our full heart and hustle into every game. We just play confident, but we also just play fierce.”
Of the 10 players listed on the varsity roster ahead of Tuesday’s home game with Summit, two were juniors, seven were sophomores and one was a freshman. It’s a far cry from the class of 10 seniors who last season led the Skiers to a perfect 27-0 mark and the Class 3A state championship.