Coach pays tribute to Aspen High lacrosse seniors
The Aspen Times
With the reality of the end of the season just starting to settle over the Aspen High School boys lacrosse team, head coach Mike Goerne had one primary item on his agenda.
“I can’t thank the seniors enough,” Goerne said in a late-night telephone interview after the Skiers had lost to powerhouse Valor Christian on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state playoffs in Aurora.
“Those seniors brought character and poise to this team. They are the foundation,” Goerne said after the Aspen boys concluded a record-setting season with a 13-3 record and the first playoff victory in school history.
“Eric (Abrahamovich) and Dan (Schwartz) on defense … they were absolute studs,” the Aspen head coach said.
“Colter (Robinson) and Casey (Hornburg) were workhorses in the midfield for us,” Goerne said. “They were up and down the field.
“And it was great to have Taylor (Henschke) with us this year. I was glad h2 got a goal (Friday night), Goerne said of the transfer who finished his senior season at Aspen High School.
He had one of the Aspen goals in Friday night’s 15-8 loss to Valor Christian, the private school from Highlands Ranch.
“And Beau Cameron, he’s a kid who worked hard … was injured. He was still out there with us,” Goerne said, repeating his respect for the senior leaders who forged a new path for Aspen lacrosse.
The path included a 12-6 victory over visiting Evergreen in the first boys lacrosse playoff game ever played in Aspen, sending the Skiers to Legacy Stadium and a Friday nightmatchup against Valor Christian.
A few key plays turned a close quarterfinal game against Valor into a win for the Eagles.
“We lost the ground ball battle in the second half,” Goerne said.
The Skiers had rallied to tie the score, 4-4, at halftime Friday night.
But Valor Christian surged to score eight of the final 12 goals and advance to the state semifinals.
Goerne said the Aspen defense did a good job of dislodging the ball from the Valor Christian attackers.
But the Eagles scooped up the loose balls in front of the Aspen net.
“They got those 50-50 balls, and they converted. They had some odd-man transitions, and they finished,” Goerne said.
“We fought hard all the way through,” he said. “But we couldn’t close the margin.”
The Skiers had a lot of early scoring chances but had trouble hitting the net, he said.
“We didn’t capitalize. But it was definitely a game we could have won,” Goerne said, adding that the Skiers will return the bulk of the roster for next year, including leading scorers Ryan Fitzgerald, Harry Ferguson and Tuyler Tick, among others.
“This team this year has been incredible,” Goerne said. “As you’ve said, they’ve written history for the program. They can hold their heads up high. Especially those seniors.”
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.