Grand Junction girls left out of lacrosse playoffs
It’s hard to accept when one loss makes the difference in making or missing the postseason.
The Colorado High School Activities Association released the girls lacrosse playoff bracket Tuesday and the Grand Junction High School girls lacrosse team was absent — as it figured it would be.
Summit defeated Grand Junction 11-6 on May 4, which clinched the Mountain League title for Summit. Because the Mountain League is it’s second year of existence, it still only gets one team into the playoffs. With that bid, the league winner is given the No. 17 seed and forced to play the No. 16 seed in what is essentially a play-in game. Summit is playing at No. 16 St. Mary Academy with the winner taking on No. 1 Cherry Creek.
For the Tigers, it was disappointing not to make the postseason in their first year as a program after finishing 10-2. Both of Grand Junction’s losses came to Summit.
“We had tremendous growth,” Grand Junction coach Kathaleen Recker said. “I feel like next year, we’ll be very strong. We are graduating only four seniors, so we’ll have a lot of starters back. That’s exciting, thinking we missed out on state because of one half of a game.”
In that May 4 loss to Summit, the teams were tied 4-4 at halftime.
“We saw we had to get better at the basic skills,” Recker said. “But the whole season we got really good about building teamwork.”
The Tigers hopefully won’t be in the same situation next season — the girls lacrosse bracket is expanding to 20 teams. The Mountain League champion is guaranteed a bid, and the rest of the league has the opportunity to get into the postseason with an at-large bid.
Recker said she hopes to keep the team together this summer and fall through the Grand Valley Lacrosse club.
“I want to put together a team for the summer and get to some of the bigger tournaments,” Recker said. “That way we keep them engaged and get them exposed to some different competition which will help get them better and better.”