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Lacrosse: Aspen girls top Battle Mountain

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jon Maletz/The Aspen TimesThe Skiers' Delaney Conner and a Battle Mountain player chase down a loose ball
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ASPEN – The Battle Mountain girls lacrosse team shook off a sluggish start Tuesday in Aspen, seizing momentum with two goals in an 18-second span in the opening quarter.

Skiers head coach Lauren Riddick was not fazed, however.

“We weren’t really concerned,” she said. “We had a great first couple weeks of practice, we’d seen these guys before and we knew we could play at another level.”

She was right. Quick-strike Aspen closed out the first half with a 5-2 run, then outscored the Huskies, 6-0, in the second en route to a 14-4, season-opening victory.

Nevada Crandall and Delaney Conner paced the Skiers with eight combined goals.

“We were so impressed, especially with that second half,” Riddick said. “There were more connections on offense, more catching the ball and taking care to make a great shot.”

The Aspen offense was clicking early – even without standout Olivia Porcaro, who is nursing a right foot injury.

Libby Dowley kicked things off with an aggressive move three minutes in, then Conner faked out two defenders with a stutter-step and ripped a low liner into the net with 13 minutes, 3 seconds remaining. Crandall then scooped up a loose ball and, when no defender stepped in to contest her, sprinted coast to coast for the conversion.

The Huskies twice flooded the zone and crashed the Skiers’ net soon after, producing two goals to trim their deficit. They would pull no closer, however.

Conner and Shannon Turbidy connected 16 seconds apart, then, after another Battle Mountain goal, Crandall and Turbidy went to work again. Crandall made a sharp cut, fielded a perfect pass from Dowley and beat the goalkeeper, then Turbidy knifed through seemingly the entire defense for an acrobatic score.

“[Being balanced] is our goal,” Riddick said. “If one cog in the wheel for some reason can’t play, we need some people to step up, take care of business and work as a team.”

Five different players scored during a dominant final 20 minutes in which Aspen was efficient on offense and repeatedly turned away the Huskies on defense.

“They really got their confidence going and took it to the goal,” Riddick said. “We got aggressive on defense, too, and were very meticulous with our clears.

“We’re a really young team. We have lots of 10th graders playing a lot of big positions for us. They came out and played really well.”

The Skiers visit Telluride at 11 a.m. Saturday.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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