Skiers, Sabercats to play on Saturday for spot in girls lacrosse state semifinals
Game time is 6 p.m. on the AHS turf
Different names. Different numbers.
That was the general approach to the season for Aspen High School girls lacrosse coach Amanda Trendell. With limited experience outside of senior standout Kylie Kenny and following a canceled 2020 season because of the pandemic, Trendell wasn’t about to use any of that as an excuse for the Skiers this spring.
“These girls have done just that,” Trendell said of the team living up to the high program standards. “The biggest difference in all the programs that I’ve had is there are just no egos. They all support each other. They all want the same thing. And that’s a beautiful thing to have, regardless if you are down at halftime or up at halftime. No one is yelling at each other. Everyone is supporting one another and that’s what has made us successful this year.”
Aspen has carried on like usual this spring, finishing the shorted regular season a perfect 10-0. AHS went 15-0 in the regular season in 2019 and hasn’t lost a regular-season game since falling 8-1 to Pine Creek on April 14, 2018, a string of 31 straight regular-season victories.
Now, the Skiers hope to push those winning ways deep into the postseason, which starts Saturday night against Castle View (6-5 overall).
Game time is 6 p.m. on the AHS turf.
“It’s going to be really exciting. We are one of the last sports to be playing for our high school, so the town is going to get excited that we have an opportunity,” AHS junior Georgia Hollander said. “We just have such a strong sense of community that it really shows up on the field. We’ve worked so hard to get where we are.”
Aspen is the No. 2 seed in the Class 4A state tournament, while Castle View is No. 10. The Sabercats upset No. 7 Golden in the first round on Thursday, winning 14-11. As one of the top four seeds in the 12-team tournament, the Skiers did not have to play a first-round game.
Trendell used Friday night’s practice as a sort of mock game day, including having the players wear their uniforms to hopefully get those pre-game jitters out of the way a good 24 hours in advance.
“We are feeling good,” Trendell said. “The mentality of this is you can see everybody is dressed like it’s game day … so when that first whistle blows tomorrow, we’ve already been here.”
Prior to this season, girls lacrosse had only been one classification but was split into two ahead of the canceled 2020 season. This really opens the door for a team like Aspen to make a run at a first state championship without having to go through some of the bigger 5A programs.
The winner of Saturday’s AHS-Castle View game will play the winner of No. 3 Grand Junction and No. 11 Northfield (Saturday, 1 p.m.) in the state semifinals on Monday at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch.
The other quarterfinal games on Saturday include No. 1 Evergreen vs. No. 8 Green Mountain (7 p.m.) and No. 5 Thompson Valley vs. No. 4 Rocky Mountain (7 p.m.).
The 4A state championship game is scheduled for Wednesday at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
“In the preseason, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” Hollander said. “Because there are a lot of freshmen and a lot of juniors, I felt a big split between the under and upperclassmen. But I think within the first couple of weeks we were all able to come together over our love for lacrosse and just by working together.”
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