Phillips scores first goal in Fruita’s rout
Two years ago, Fruita Monument High School senior Tim Phillips had never played a contact sport.
During his junior year, his friends Corey Henricksen and Sean Rozowski convinced him to try lacrosse.
Phillips watched one game and decided it was for him.
Phillips hadn’t played many varsity minutes over his two-year lacrosse career, but Wildcats coach Mark Young said a 14-1 drubbing of Glenwood Springs two days before facing Class 4A’s No. 2-ranked Aspen offered the perfect opportunity for Phillips to notch his first varsity goal.
“God love him, that was awesome,” Young said. “I told him, I told everyone really, that this was his night, and God love him, he got it. It was a good moment. I’ve had him for two years, and I don’t think he’s ever missed a practice. He just works hard, hard, hard.”
Halfway through the third quarter, Phillips drifted, uncovered, directly in front of the crease. With yards of space on either side, Tyrelle Peterson fed Phillips, and he buried his shot into the top right corner.
The bench exploded in cheers, and Phillips said it was special seeing his friends, who pulled him into lacrosse, cheering for him.
“That was probably the proudest moment of my life, for sure,” Phillips said. “To see all of them over there rooting for me was unreal. I just sort of got the ball in the crease and shot the ball when I got it. I was nervous, to be honest.”
Young said moments such as Phillips’ goal allowed him to rest players going into a brutal stretch of the Wildcats’ schedule. Fruita plays five games in seven days, three against ranked opponents. Fruita hosts Aspen, 5A’s Thompson Valley, and 4A’s No. 9 Summit before traveling to face Steamboat Springs, ranked seventh in 4A.
With the exception of man-up possessions, this season’s leading scorer Zac Twardowski and last season’s leading scorer Aiden Woomer didn’t play against Glenwood Springs. Woomer, who missed the beginning of the lacrosse season with an injury, was out for Fruita’s 15-3 loss to Aspen earlier in the year. It was Young’s first career loss to Aspen, and he said the Wildcats will be better prepared this time around.
“I got an opportunity to rest some guys, and different kids saw some playing time, and they took full advantage of it,” Young said. “They allowed me to sit some of the guys that will be playing a lot this weekend.”
“Aspen is a great program, and I’ve always loved their coaching staff. They’re well-coached and very disciplined and have a lot of young guys who are fast. I don’t think we were as prepared last time to play them as we could have been. I’m hoping the game on Thursday will be a lot different for us.”