Aspen girls lax wins Mountain League title

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Skiers rush to congratulate goalie Livi Carr on Monday night after the Skiers beat Grand Junction 11-6 to win the Mountain League title and advance to the state playoffs.
Dale Strode / The Aspen Times |

The Aspen High School girls lacrosse title won the Mountain League championship Monday night with a hard-fought 11-6 victory over visiting Grand Junction.

The Skiers broke out of an early back-and-forth game against the Tigers, scoring the final four goals of the first half to take a 6-2 halftime lead at Aspen School District Stadium.

The Tigers, who had defeated the Skiers earlier in a nonleague game in Grand Junction, bounced back in the second half and pressured Aspen with four goals.

But the Skiers answered with five for the 11-6 win and the second league title in three seasons for AHS girls lacrosse.

“Absolutely … the best game of the year,” said Aspen head coach Jessica Owings. “They looked fantastic.”

Especially during the 4-0 run to close the first half.

Kelsey Fitzgerald and Mackenzie Miller scored early for the Skiers, who were matched by two goals from Grand Junction’s Kristina Sewell.

And the Tigers grabbed the momentum when they went on the power play after an Aspen penalty.

But before Grand Junction could advance the ball, Miller knocked the ball free and scooped it up.

She scored the second of her four goals, giving the Skiers a 3-2 lead with 13:25 to play in the first half — a lead they would not relinquish.

Aspen extended the lead to 9-2 over the stunned Tigers, who rallied after a timeout.

They collected goals from Katie Carozza and Caroline Jones.

And after Miller’s third and fourth goals for Aspen, Tia Sewell scored two for the Tigers, who lost for only the second time all season. They are 10-2 overall, 4-2 in league play. Aspen topped the conference at 7-0. The Skiers are 9-5 overall.

“A week ago, we started mentally preparing for this game,” Owings said. “We wanted to be calm and confident and take our time.”

With their best overall game of the season, Owings said the seniors led the way on senior night.

“We are so proud of our seniors,” she said of the six players honored with their parents in a pregame ceremony.

Fitzgerald, one of the seniors, finished with three goals for Aspen. Fellow senior Brooke Pisani also scored against Grand Junction.

Claire Boronski and twin Julia Boronski were honored Monday along with Katie Peshek and Morgan White.

Claire Boronski had one goal for Skiers, who also collected tallies from Jane Marolt and Elizabeth Ecclestone.

The Skiers, with their Mountain League title in hand, will play a nonleague game at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood on Tuesday.

Then, they await their seeding assignment for the girls state lacrosse playoffs next week. There is only one division of girls lax in Colorado while boys teams compete in two divisions.