Aspen girls lacrosse surges in second half
The Aspen Times
The Skiers had to slow things down to speed up their game.
The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team, after a timely halftime adjustment, surged in the second half to beat visiting Grand Junction 14-7 on Friday afternoon on the AHS field.
The Skiers, who led only 6-5 at halftime, scored four quick goals in the first 5 minutes of the second half, just as the sun reappeared after a cloudy first half.
“We had to slow the game down,” said Aspen senior Shannon Turbidy, who scored twice in the second-half scoring flurry.
“Grand Junction plays a super fast-paced game. They can go all day, running up and down the field,” Turbidy said, “So, we had to slow it down and play our game.”
The Skiers focused on their possession and perimeter passing, keeping the speedy Tigers away from their wide-open midfield runs.
“When we keep it slow and we spread it out, it gets them off their game,” said Turbidy, who finished with a game-high five goals. “As we move the ball around, they get lost (on defense), they lose cutters.”
Turbidy took advantage of the defensive openings and scored back-to-back goals after Libby Dowley and Sarah Chiles had potted goals to open the second half for the Skiers.
Minutes later, Aspen senior Nina Christensen scored her second goal of the game on a double-back move in front of the Grand Junction goal, giving the Skiers an 11-5 lead.
“We couldn’t have done this without our defense,” said Turbidy, the daughter of Alicia and J.B. Turbidy. “Those clears … and Hannah (Claus) had 11 saves. It was crazy. Those were key, honestly.”
Goalie Clauss turned back three point-black scoring attempts from the Tigers in a late second-half sequence to preserve the Mountain League victory.
Dowley had two first-half goals in the Aspen win. She finished with three on the day.
Christiansen and Turbidy also contributed first-half goals.
Grand Junction picked up an opening goal from Hallie Harrison.
And the Tigers, who exploited the midfield space with their exceptional speed, scored four consecutive goals to take a brief 5-4 lead over the Skiers.
Amanda Cole scored twice, and Hannah Price and Kristina Sewell added goals for the Tigers (4-6 overall, 2-3 in league).
Grand Junction’s two second-half goals came from Harrison and Kassidy Roberts.
Paige Johnson and Mackenzie Miller (two) rounded out the scoring for the Skiers, who improved to 8-2 overall, 4-0 in the Mountain League.
“We’re firing on all cylinders now,” Turbidy said after the Friday afternoon Aspen victory. “Slowing our minds down, as well as the game, helped us.”
The Skiers will return to conference play Tuesday with a game against Battle Mountain in Edwards.
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Winter sports practices were officially allowed to begin last week, Jan. 18, after the Colorado High School Activities Association was given a variance from the state’s health officials. Games were allowed to be played starting this week.