Boys lax: Aspen, Battle Mountain to battle for league title
The Aspen Times
Rivalry lacrosse redux — with the conference title on the line.
The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team will host rival Battle Mountain at 5 p.m. Friday at Aspen School District Stadium in the Mountain League championship game.
The league title game matches the top team in the west against the top team in the east — Aspen versus Vail — with state playoff seeding at stake, as well.
The resort rivalry rematch was set up when Battle Mountain defeated Steamboat Springs 13-9 on Wednesday night to finish first in the East Division of the Mountain League.
The Huskies (11-3 overall, 5-0 in league) will head to Aspen for a rematch of a game two weeks ago when the Skiers won a hard-fought 5-3 decision.
The Skiers (12-2 overall, 6-0 in league) completed the regular schedule earlier this week with a 12-5 victory at Summit High School.
Both teams are ranked among the Class 4A state leaders with home playoff opportunities hanging in the balance.
“Our approach has always been that we are playing the best lacrosse we can as a team. We want to play a better game; we want to play a better quarter,” Aspen head coach Mike Goerne said. “If we stay on track, we have the opportunity to push ourselves as a team.”
He said the Skiers love to play on their home field, especially against a top team like Battle Mountain.
“We get great support from the local fans. We have great community support,” Goerne said. “We’re excited to play for the conference championship and we have a chance to go against a quality opponent.”
The Skiers will bring an eight-game winning streak into the conference championship.
Aspen lost 13-12 to Grandview on April 3 before reeling off eight in a row. The Skiers’ only other loss was a 16-11 defeat at the hands of Class 5A Arapahoe in early March.
Battle Mountain’s only losses came to Aspen, Valor Christian (10-9) and Ponderosa (10-7).
Both Battle Mountain and Aspen have defeated Windsor this season.
“This is a new format for us,” Goerne said of the split divisions in the Mountain League. “We’re excited to play and we hope to get as many people out as possible for the 5 o’clock game.”
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.