Aspen lacrosse teams to host state playoffs |

Aspen lacrosse teams to host state playoffs

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen's John Heaphey, a returning all-stater, fires a shot toward the Fruita Monument goal during a game last year. Heaphey and the Aspen HIgh School boys lacrosse team will open the new season Friday.
Aubree Dallas | Aubree Dallas/The Aspen Times

The state high school lacrosse playoffs are coming to Aspen ­ this week.

That’s the boys state playoffs and the girls state playoffs.

Both Aspen lacrosse teams were awarded home-site games for the opening round of the playoffs, which begin today.

The Aspen boys (13-2) were seeded No. 5 overall in the Class 4A boys bracket, with a first-round home date against No. 12 Evergreen (5-10) at 5 p.m. today. The game will be played on the Aspen High School turf field.

Admission will be charged at the gate because the game is an official CHSAA state playoff game. Boys lacrosse in Colorado is divided into two classifications — 4A and 5A.

The Aspen girls (12-3), the champions of the Mountain league, also earned a home date for the opening round of the playoffs.

The AHS girls will host Mullen (9-6) at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Girls lacrosse is played in one division in Colorado.

“We have to focus on the next game,” Aspen boys lacrosse coach Mike Goerne said after the Skiers were assigned the No. 5 seed in the 16-team field. “We like our situation.”

Georne said he was glad the seeding committee respected the tiebreakers of the Mountain League — which ended in a three-way tie among Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain.

Battle Mountain, the only conference team to beat Aspen this year, was awarded the No. 4 state seed. The Huskies were on top in the conference tiebreakers.

Aspen is at No. 5. And Steamboat Springs is at No. 6.

“The Mountain (League) is the strongest conference overall, with three teams in the top six and five teams in the field,” Goerne said.

Durango made the field at No. 14 this year. And Summit was listed at No. 15.

Battle Mountain (13-2), as the No. 4, will host No. 13 Air Academy (5-10) in the opening round.

No. 6 Steamboat (13-2) will host No. 11 Conifer (7-7).

The top seed in the 4A field is Wheat Ridge (12-4). The Farmers will host No. 16 Denver South (6-9).

No. 2 seed Ponderosa (12-2) will host Summit (6-9).

Durango (10-4) will play at No. 3 Valor Christian (11-4).

The Aspen boys charge into the playoffs as the most prolific offensive team in Class 4A with 219 goals.

AHS junior Tyler Tick leads 4A in goals with 64 this season. Teammate Ryan Fitzgerald, the all-state running back from Aspen’s football team, is right behind with 53 goals.

Junior Harry Ferguson is among the state’s leaders in assists with 38.

The Aspen boys are averaging 15 goals per game this season.

Today’s 5 p.m. boys game is a playoff rematch from a year ago.

The Aspen girls were seeded No. 13 in the 24-team girls bracket.

Wednesday’s playoff will bring the Mullen Mustangs to Aspen as the No. 20 seed.

The winner of the Aspen-Mullen game will play at No. 4 overall seed Arapahoe (11-3) in the second round.

The Aspen girls, coached by Lauren Riddick, head into the playoffs with seven consecutive wins. Their last loss came to powerhouse Cherry Creek (9-6), the overall No. 5 seed in the girls lacrosse playoffs.

Centaurus (14-1 from Lafayette) is the No. 1 girls seed with Chatfield No. 2 (15-0) and Air Academy No. 3 (13-2).

Senior Shannon Turbidy is the leading scorer for the Aspen girls entering the playoffs. She’s scored 49 goals in 14 games. She also has 15 assists.

Mullen will counter with a balanced offense and six players with 19 goals or more this season. They are led by Annie Schindler (32 goals and 27 assists).

Cali Edgar has 28 goals and 13 assists for the Mustangs.

Susanna Konkel has potted 27 goals for Mullen.

Aspen was the only Mountain League team to earn a berth in the girls state lacrosse bracket.

Admission also will be charged to Wednesday’s state playoff in Aspen.

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