Girls lacrosse: Second-half surge lifts Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Eagle Valley appeared to be in control Thursday. The Devils scored seven of eight goals during one stretch in the first and second halves and led Aspen 9-6.
The Skiers, who were in danger of suffering their first league loss of the season, then turned on the offensive switch. Olivia Porcaro ended the drought, swooping in from the right side and unleashing a powerful shot, sparking an 8-0 run. Aspen (7-1) shut out Eagle Valley (2-6) for the rest of the game to pull out a 14-9 victory.
“They decided to do it,” Aspen head coach Lauren Riddick said. “All credit to Eagle, they played with so much heart and so much hustle. Our team decided in the second half that we wanted it more. That was the difference.”
Aspen began the game with promise, scoring five of the opening half’s first seven goals. The Devils responded with four straight to take the lead before Shannon Turbidy evened the score in the waning minutes before the break.
Eagle Valley parlayed that momentum into a fast start in the second half as the Skiers struggled to defend Devils forward Cori Cramer.
“Aspen pretty much shut Haley (Hutton) down because she was the top scorer last time we played,” Eagle Valley head coach Kim Andre said. “She was drawing three players, and when that happens, someone else is open.”
Cramer scored four goals but could not keep up her offensive pressure as Aspen’s Porcaro took over at the other end.
“Going from not playing our best to playing our best, there’s a period of shifting gears,” Riddick said. “They did have to work it out for themselves in the first 10 minutes of the second half and shift up to a higher gear. Thankfully, they did.”
Using fluid ball movement in transition and skillful finishing in front of the net, Aspen pulled away on three goals from both Porcaro and Delaney Conner. Conner also flashed her play-
making ability, feeding Porcaro for her sixth goal.
“There were so many good connections in the second half,” Riddick said. “When they decide to play well, they can.”
Another highlight came with 10 minutes left in the game, when Nevada Crandall passed from behind the net to a cutting Turbidy, who jumped to coral the pass and finished in one smooth motion.
Porcaro led all scorers with six goals, Turbidy connected four times, and Conner pitched in with three for the Skiers, who next host Durango on April 27.
“We play everyone again for a second time, and it’s always harder the second time,” Riddick said. “But we’re looking forward for more games like this.”
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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.