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Lacrosse: Aspen boys roll

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Michael Appelgate/The Aspen TimesThe Skiers' Joey Vernier sprints upfield Wednesday against Eagle Valley at Aspen High School.
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ASPEN – The goals continue to pile up for the Aspen boys lacrosse team.

The Skiers were tested early against visiting Eagle Valley on a sun-splashed Wednesday afternoon, but they soon hit their stride. Aspen outscored the Devils, 7-1, in the second and third quarters and rolled, 14-4, notching their third lopsided victory to open the season.

The Skiers have outscored opponents 43-11.

“Eagle Valley came out and gave us a good game at the beginning. They had a great face-off man that got them a lot of possessions, and we were playing defense a little more than we’ve been used to,” said Aspen head coach Mike Goerne, whose squad routed Glenwood Springs, 15-3, on Tuesday.

“The guys executed. The middies started getting up and down the field fast, and we out-hustled them.”

Particularly in transition. With the score knotted at one midway through the opening quarter, the Skiers forced a turnover and immediately pushed the ball upfield. Joey Vernier caught the Devils’ defense out of position, controlled a pass and scored. Less than 40 seconds later, Aspen tracked down a loose ball and Vernier connected once again, faking out one defender before firing a high liner that clipped the net.

Colter Robinson and Henry Woodrow also produced first-quarter goals for the Skiers, who led 4-2, after 12 minutes. They continued to pad the lead.

Cole Bond converted in transition little more than a minute into the second, then patient offense yielded a slew of prime chances. John Heaphy sprinted toward the Eagle Valley net on a restart at the 5:37 mark, absorbed a bump and went low for the goal, then Casey Hornburg beat his defender and the keeper 2:28 before the break, stretching the advantage to 7-2.

“We were finishing those shots we need to finish, from 10 yards and in,” Goerne said. “You’ve got to bury those in the back of the goal, and we were taking care of that today.”

Aspen effectively put this one out of reach with an early third-quarter surge. Heaphy found himself all alone for an easy goal about four minutes in, Tyler Tick scored twice – in transition and on a quick flick of the wrists from close range – and Harry Ferguson finished out in front.

All four scores came in a span of just four minutes.

Ferguson, Bond and Woodrow added some insurance down the stretch for the Skiers, who host Glenwood and Battle Mountain at 4 p.m. next Thursday and Friday.

“Conditioning is big in this short season. Being able to go the full field all game long makes a big difference,” Goerne said. “That paid off in this game. It was 7-2 in the third quarter in this game, and our legs fed us quite a bit of goals in the second half.

“Right now, we’re trying to get quicker and sharper at everything we do. We’re trying to recognize situations and take advantage of them.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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