Valor Christian denies Aspen High School boys lacrosse
The end of the road is in Aurora.
The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team slammed into the end of the season Friday night when Valor Christian rallied in the second half for a 15-8 state quarterfinal victory over the Skiers at far-flung Legacy Stadium, located in Aurora on the southeastern fringe of the Denver metropolitan area.
The Skiers staged a dramatic rally late in the first half, reducing a two-goal deficit into a 4-4 halftime tie against the Eagles, a private school from Highlands Ranch.
But after inching to a 6-5 lead in the third quarter, Valor Christian scored nine of the next 12 goals to secure the victory and advance to the Class 4A state semifinals next week at the same Legacy Stadium.
The Eagles will play either No. 1 Wheat Ridge or No. 8 Thompson Valley.
Aspen, coming off a big 12-6 win over Evergreen on Wednesday in the Skiers first playoff game, collected goals from Matt Sovich, John Heaphey, Nick Cottrell, Ryan Fitzgerald, Taylor Henschke and Tyler Tick against Valor Christian.
Tick, a sophomore, potted three goals in the state quarterfinal loss.
The Skiers, who were undefeated at home this year, won their first Mountain League championship this season under head coach Mike Goerne.
They defeated Evergreen in the first home playoff game.
And they finished the season with a school-record 12 wins opposite only three losses, including Friday night’s defeat at the hands of Valor Christian (14-3).
Aspen scored first in the state playoff game.
But Valor Christian, led by Logan Bruss, answered with two goals and a 2-1 lead.
The Skiers scored again to tie the game at 2-2.
But Valor Christian answered with two more goals and a 4-2 lead.
A pair of dramatic goals by the Skiers in the closing minutes of the first half evened the game heading into the fateful third quarter.
A local kid got on the X Games Aspen podium on Sunday night, but it wasn’t the one most people expected. Even Jon Sallinen didn’t think he’d be taking home a medal.