From neighbors to rivals
Wildcat, Tiger meet up on field for first time
For almost five years during childhood, Justin Young and Jared Harrison were neighbors.
Young, a Fruita Monument High School junior, talked Harrison, a Grand Junction freshman, into playing lacrosse. Young coached Harrison and got him involved. Monday was the first time the pair would meet on the field.
Harrison said he was nervous about the game, and Young didn’t help.
In the days leading up the Fruita and Grand Junction rivalry game, Young visited Harrison, and gave him some good-natured jabs.
“I went over to his house a couple times and was telling him how I’m going to burn him every chance I get,” Young said. “But it was all fun. It’s amazing how much he’s grown, and I’ve had fun getting to play against him.”
But Harrison got his revenge, as he stripped Young near the Grand Junction net during the second half of Grand Junction’s 11-5 runaway win at Walker Field.
“He knocked it right out of my stick,” Young said. “It was a great play, have to hand it to him.”
The Fruita Monument penalties started piling up toward the end of the first half.
During the waning moments of the second quarter and the start of the third quarter, the Tigers sparked a 8-0 run to battle back from a slow start, thanks to near double-digit Wildcat penalty minutes.
Grand Junction coach James States said he saw a different defensive look from Fruita, and spent halftime adjusting.
“We planned all week and schemed for a zone defense, because that’s what (Fruita) usually runs,” States said. “They came out man-on-man and we had to change our offense at half. We came out, and the middle was wide open and they just had shots all day.”
Grand Junction utilized screens to limit Fruita goalie Corey Henricksen, who was a wall in the first half with five saves, including a handful of blazing shots off bare skin.
The Tigers also capitalized on fast-break situations during man-up plays. Grand Junction notched four goals on the break.
Once the Tigers got momentum, they never let up.
“The big plays, the goals, stops, it all added to the momentum,” Grand Junction attacker Scott Foster said. “We’ve had kind of an up-and-down season, and we’ve lost some close games. We haven’t always played our best game, but tonight we did.”
Foster finished with a team-high three goals. Seven players notched goals for Grand Junction.
For Fruita, Woomer and Twardowski finished with two goals apiece.
“The first half was a great half,” Fruita coach Mark Young said. “I don’t really know what happened. We’re going to watch some game footage. Yeah, Junction just came out and wanted it more.”