‘Cat-quick victory

Passing helps Fruita girls lacrosse team remain undefeated

Fruita Monument’s Nicole Twardowski scores a goal Friday night in the Wildcats’ 13-7 victory over Durango at Walker Field.



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Fruita Monument’s Nicole Twardowski scores a goal Friday night in the Wildcats’ 13-7 victory over Durango at Walker Field.

So far, they’ve been quicker and smarter than any opponent. Better yet, the Fruita Monument High School girls lacrosse team is still undefeated.

Alyssa Urban and Vanessa Nelson finished with three goals each Friday as the Wildcats dominated Durango around the net, winning 13-7 in Colorado Mountain League play at Walker Field.

“It’s about being faster and smarter, drawing the defenders and making the open cut,” Urban said of Fruita’s offense.

That offense opened up even more than normal against Durango’s zone defense. The Demons couldn’t keep up as Fruita Monument dismantled the shell defense, beginning with Lindsey Burenheide behind the net. Nelson, Urban, Nicole Twardowski, Adrienne Chiapuzio, Danielle Oleson and Reinah Norcross took turns driving toward the crease as Burenheide set them up. On a few occasions, the 5-foot-5 Burenheide slung passes directly over the 6-foot high net.

Urban was the main beneficiary of such passes. After making a cut at the top of the zone, Urban rarely was followed as she crashed to the net.

“Their defense was really different because it’s a zone, and we usually don’t go up against those,” Urban said. “Usually our set plays are tailored more for a man defense, so we were really just looking to spread it out, making extra cuts off of cuts, and trying to get the open pass without forcing anything. Forcing the pass, it always ends up on the ground, and we want to keep attacking.”

Chiapuzio and Burenheide each finished with three assists.

Burenheide said passing was a major offseason focus for the Wildcats.

“That’s the one thing, like the number one thing, we’ve really been working on that because last year we had a terrible transition,” Burenheide said. “They just tried to run it the whole way. We had a lot of freshmen last year, and really it was teaching them that passes are faster than running. We’ve had a lot of great passes in every game so far.

“With long passes, we try and tell them that the simple pass is the best, but we do get a little stick happy sometimes. But even then, we’re good even when the ball is on the ground.”

Fruita Monument coach Mark Twardowski complimented the Wildcats’ defense. Fruita held Durango’s leading scorer, Tymbree Hawkins, a Fort Lewis recruit, to only one goal, tied for a season-low.

“Our girls are very good at sliding and covering on drives, and we shut down their best player tonight,” he said. “Tymbree, she’s a great player. She’s a good player on drives, and our girls were able to double it down and shut her down.”

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