Wildcats flash potential in loss to Aspen
During one moment of respite in a frantic girls lacrosse game Thursday evening, the field froze in front of Fruita Monument attacker Lindsey Burenheide.
She stood alone, behind Aspen’s net and yelled something unintelligible.
A couple of Fruita players moved, shadowed by Aspen defenders, but Burenheide had to fumble with her mouth guard to bark out the play.
As the Wildcats wheeled into motion, Burenheide’s initial pass flew wide, deflected near the crease, and rolled directly to midfielder Alyssa Urban. Urban took two steps forward into an Aspen defender, cut in while hooking around her opponent, and whizzed the ball past the goalie’s helmet.
It was one of a number of scrappy plays during the Wildcats’ 19-11 Mountain League loss at Fruita Monument High School.
Plays like that have defined Fruita’s season. The Wildcats (3-7, 2-6) don’t have a sparkling record, but they’ve given the top half of the Mountain League fits, and coach Mark Twardowski has seen marked improvement during the second half of the season.
“Our girls play with a lot of heart,” Twardowski said. “They’re cheering each other on when we’re five goals, six goals down. They don’t back off anybody, especially the top teams.
“The girls have really picked up their game in the second half of the season. I still maintain that we have a really young team.”
Nicole Twardowski, Urban and Burenheide have led the Wildcats to double-digit goals against the top three league opponents. Better yet for Mark Twardowski, the trio return next season.
“They’re all coming back, my midfield, half my attack, half my defense,” Twardowski said. “As time goes they’re going to be an awesome team. They’re going to be solid next year, and they’re getting valuable playing experience right now.”
While his team has broken double-digits four of the past five games, Twardowski said it’s hard to win games giving up as many goals as they have.
“I want us to lock down our defense,” Twardowski said. “I think seeing our opportunities will help us, too. We’ve obviously scored a lot of goals against a good defensive team like Aspen (7-3, 7-3), and against Grand Junction. Seeing those opportunities will come with more playing experience. Seeing whose stick is open, seeing where girls are running.”
Aspen’s Shannon Turbidy led all scorers with 10 goals
Burenheide led Fruita with five goals. Urban and Twardowski chipped in two goals apiece. The Wildcats were outshot 27-17.
Kala Keltz and Madison Gill finished 1-2 to lead Montrose to the team title at Thursday’s Aspen Invitational.
With Keltz shooting a 77 for medalist honors and Gill’s 82 placing her in a four-way tie for second with Central’s Jordan Eller, Rifle’s Taylor Walters and Gunnison’s Jennifer Ehmsen, the Indians cobbled together a 249 team score to edge Central by 10 strokes.
Central’s Kiana Garcia managed a top-10 individual finish, placing seventh with an 88. Teammate Sam Medina tied for eighth with Palisade’s Trenna Morgan at 89.
Keaton Reiher pitched five strong innings to lead Delta to an 11-0 win over Steamboat Springs.
Tyler Sandoval had two hits and three RBI, and Lino Ortiz and Marcus Garcia knocked in two runs apiece for the Panthers (10-2, 6-1).
Montrose 7, Eagle Valley 0: Montrose starter Tyrus Lopez limited Eagle Valley to two hits and struck out eight as the Indians shut out an opponent for the fifth time this season.
Peter Shearer and Garrett Zarkis each went 3 for 4 for Montrose (16-1), with Zarkis belting a double and a home run and driving in three runs.
Lilly McSwain scored three goals to lead Glenwood Springs to a 9-0 victory over winless Rifle. Ruby Baca added two goals for the Demons (10-2, 8-2).