Dohm lifts GJ past Fruita
Grand Junction versus Fruita has quickly become one of the biggest rivalries in the Mountain Lacrosse League. For the fourth year in a row, the teams split their regular-season series, after Grand Junction won 6-5 on Tuesday on a last-minute goal to avenge an early season loss.
With less than a minute remaining, Luke Dohm cut between two defenders before burying a shot in the back of the net. Dohm’s only goal of the night complemented a five-goal outburst by Kris States.
“It is one of those games where you know someone is going to get beat bad or it’s going to come down to the last minute,” Grand Junction coach James States said. “After about three minutes left in the game you could just feel the tide turning and I think we knew if the boys stayed patient and stay in our offense we’d get that goal.”
Grand Junction (7-4, 7-4 MLL) struggled with turnovers in the first half, committing 13. The second half was an entirely different story as the Tigers overcame a four-goal deficit to tie the game in the middle of the fourth quarter. A shift in offensive tempo allowed Kris States to break through the Fruita defense. Trying to outrun the Wildcats (7-4, 7-3 MLL) put Junction down in the first half.
“We could have easily gotten into a run-and-gun offense at the end of the game,” James States said. “We were in one for awhile, and that’s why we called that timeout.
“We told them that they can score three goals in a minute if you want to, but we got them to pull back and just chip away at Fruita.”
Fruita’s Archer Maddox won all six first-half faceoffs, and won the first two in the second half before finally giving up initial possession. Maddox’s broken faceoff streak signaled a shift in momentum.
After Maddox lost his first faceoff, the Tigers scored three straight goals to tie the game 4-4, all three goals coming on man-advantage situations.
“These kind of games are a ton of fun,” Fruita coach Mark Young said. “Jack Deitl let everyone know in the huddle that this is the most intense we’ve looked all year and he is absolutely right. It’s a tough loss, but that’s just another Junction and Fruita game.”
Aiden Woomer and Jacob Lynch each had two goals for Fruita in the loss.
Fruita is now in third place in the league, one game behind Battle Mountain and one-half game ahead of Grand Junction. Each squad will face Aspen, Telluride, Summit and Glenwood Springs before the end of the season. Of the four, Aspen is the only team in the top half of the standings.