Aspen girls lax builds momentum with wins
The Aspen Times
The Skiers just keep on winning — courtesy of a second-half offensive surge.
The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team won its fifth consecutive league game Wednesday afternoon with a 16-6 victory over visiting Eagle Valley.
The Aspen girls scored nine goals in a second-half scoring spree to improve to 6-3 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
Senior Kelsey Fitzgerald scored six goals to lead the high-powered Aspen offense.
Senior Brooke Pisani scored three times, and sophomore Caroline Moriarty added two more goals for the Skiers, who are unbeaten at home this season.
Lizzi Ecclestone, Juliette Woodrow, Jordan Fox and Kendall Knott also scored in Aspen’s victory, which came on a breezy Wednesday afternoon in Aspen.
“We talked at halftime about … our girls really needing to place their shots,” Aspen head coach Jessica Owings said. “Eagle (Valley) is a good, scrappy team this year. Their goalie looked really strong.”
The Devils, in fact, pulled to within 6-3 early in the second half at Aspen School District Stadium.
Devils’ captain Lindsay Martinez scored just 45 seconds into the half.
But the Skiers’ turned back the Devils’ momentum with back-to-back goals from Fox and Fitzgerald.
“We stepped it up in the second half,” Owings said. “There also was a real shift in energy in the second half; positive energy for us.”
Extended passing combinations on fast breaks and counter attacks led to four more goals for Fitzgerald along with Aspen goals from Ecclestone, Pisani (two) and Moriarty (two).
“They saw each other, and they connected down the field,” Owings said of the quick-strike Aspen offense. “Good team chemistry today.”
Eagle Valley had two goals from Martinez, two from Teaghan Mercer and one from Megan Aalto. The Devils moved to 4-4 in league play, 5-4 overall.
Owings said the Skiers’ draw control gave them more possession in the second half — a huge help.
The Aspen defense and freshman goalie Livvi Carr protected Aspen’s tenuous early lead against the Devils.
“Again Livvy again was a brick wall. She kept everyone positive,” Owings said. “She kept us in the game. She had some excellent saves.”
The Aspen girls were coming off a momentum-building 24-13 win at Fruita Monument on Tuesday night. They had only a limited roster of 12 players with no subs on the trip west.
“Twelve girls … same starters as today. That was a good team-building opportunity,” she said of the shorthanded road victory. “It helped with the momentum.”
The Aspen girls will be back in action April 21 when they will host Battle Mountain.
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