Aspen girls lax knocks off Fruita Monument
The Aspen Times
The Aspen High School girls lacrosse team started scoring goals before the opening whistle.
The Skiers hardly slowed once the game started, blitzing Fruita Monument for 11 first-half goals and a stunning 11-1 halftime lead — leading to a commanding 17-5 victory.
“Shots … early and often. That’s how we like to come into the game,” said Aspen head coach Jessica Owings. “We’re withing one game of being league champions, and we knew we had to come in playing our game. The girls did that really well.”
The Skiers won the opening draw at Aspen School District Stadium under cloudy skies with cool temperatures. Mackenzie Miller sprinted downfield with the ball and scored Aspen’s first goal just 14 seconds into the game.
And Aspen scored 21 seconds later when Caroline Moriarty scored her first goal. She would finish with three in the game.
Teammate Miller led the way with five goals.
But to start, the Skiers had six goals from different scorers — Miller, Moriarty, Kelsey Fitzgerald, Brooke Pisani, Emma Ernst and Claire Boronski.
“Fruita (Monument) had a good surge in the second half,” Owings said after the Wildcats scored four consecutive goals early in the second half to pull within 12-5.
Jenna Oleson, Reinah Norcross, Taylor Haller and Vanessa Nelson scored for surging Fruita Monument.
Haller had scored the Wildcat’s lone first-half goal.
Nelson’s goal came with 11:54 to play in the 25-minute second half.
“We had a check-in during a timeout,” Owings said, “ and decided we wanted to close the deal.”
The Aspen defense and freshman goalie Livi Carr shut out the Wildcats the rest of the way while adding five more goals for the 17-5 Mountain League victory.
Claire Boronski finished with three goals for Aspen. Jordan Fox scored twice. Juliette Woodrow also scored as the Aspen girls lacrosse team improved to 6-0 in the Mountain League, 8-4 overall. Aspen’s 12-11 home loss to Battle Mountain last week was a nonleague matchup. The Skiers beat Battle Mountain 12-7 in Edwards earlier in the conference game.
Fruita Monument moved to 3-4 in conference play, 4-8 overall.
The Aspen girls are scheduled to host Kent Denver in a nonleague game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Aspen School District Stadium.
More importantly, the Skiers will host Grand Junction on Monday for the Mountain League championship.
“We would love to have a lot of community support on Monday,” Owings said. “It’s our senior night.”
And it’s the Skiers opportunity to win the Mountain League title and move closer to the state playoffs.
“We’re really hopeful for a playoff appearance,” the Aspen coach said.
The AHS girls will host Grand Junction at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
At 4 p.m. Monday, the Aspen junior varsity team will take on first-year program Roaring Fork.
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Trailing to Aspen early in Sunday’s championship, the American Raptors came back to lead 24-15 at halftime and held a two score lead well into the second half before the Gents took over the match. This was the Gents’ 22nd championship at Ruggerfest, a tournament that dates to 1968.