A sour ending: Late-game goals lift Aspen past Grand Junction

Photo by Dean Humphrey—Aspen’s Desmond Duggan, right, eyes the ball in the stick of Grand Junction’s Tate Hegstrom, trying to figure out how to knock it loose Friday in the Skiers’ 13-10 victory.

It wasn’t exactly the finish the Grand Junction High School boys lacrosse team had hoped for.

After fending off a pesky Aspen team the first three quarters in Thursday’s game at Canyon View Park, the Tigers (4-3) fell apart, allowing three goals in the final 4 minutes of a 13-10 loss.

“You’ve definitely got to give Aspen their due,” Grand Junction coach Mark Young said. “They pushed the ball when they needed to push the ball.”

The Skiers found themselves playing from behind most of the game, trailing at the end of each of the first three quarters.

“We knew we were in it with them the whole time and it was just a matter of us catching up,” Aspen coach Mike Goerne said.

“Coming into the fourth quarter, when we tied it up and got one more, our momentum was there.”

Much of the momentum came from Nick Fuller, who scored five goals. Fuller had a hat trick in the second quarter and scored the tying goal in the fourth, along with one of Aspen’s insurance goals afterwards.

“(Fuller) moved very well and had some very good dodges,” Goerne said. “He had a lot of support off-ball that gave him a lot of options to get some good passes off to other guys and also keep the other defenders busy so he could get to the goal and finish.”

After Fuller tied the game, Aspen’s Rex Christensen scored two goals in the final three minutes.

Grand Junction was led by Luke Olsen and Taylor Watkins, who each scored three goals. Tiger goalie Kolton Flick made 12 saves.

Fruita Monument 11, Battle Mountain 2: Fruita coach Mark Young was at a loss for words on how to describe his team’s play.

The one he could think of? Awesome.

“That’s the only word that comes to my head,” Young said. “They just played awesome ball today.”

After allowing only two goals in the first half to the Huskies, the Wildcats (5-1) tightened up their defense, blanking Battle Mountain in the final two quarters.

“I give a lot of credit to the defense today because they did it,” Young said.

“They said ‘no more points,’ they meant no more points and there was no more points after halftime.”

Fruita was limited to only two points in the first quarter, but broke away with four in the second, taking a 6-2 lead into the half.

The Wildcats were held to a single goal in the third quarter, but had another four-goal quarter to finish the game.

Ethan Grider led Fruita with three goals, all in the first half, and Trevor Allen recorded two in the first half. Wyatt Allen had two second-half goals.

Fruita, which plays Aspen at 11 this morning at Canyon View, outshot Battle Mountain 39-21.


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