Rivals get stingy: Flick’s net play key in Tigers’ close victory over Wildcats
Grand Junction goalkeeper Kolton Flick knew he needed to cut down on the number of goals he allowed.
He didn’t realize how much of a difference that would make.
The Grand Junction sophomore made eight saves Tuesday night as the Tigers limited Fruita Monument to a season-low two goals in a 5-2 Mountain League boys lacrosse victory at Walker Field
“I did not anticipate (a low-scoring game),” Flick said. “The last time we played them, it was pretty much goal for goal. This game, coming out and almost getting a shutout was awesome.”
Harrison Boardwine scored two goals for the Tigers (6-4, 4-2 Mountain League) and Logan Bell, Anders Carlson and Luke Olson each all scored as well.
Wyatt Allen and Aiden Woomer scored for the Wildcats (6-5, 3-4).
Fruita Monument didn’t score until the fourth quarter. By then, the Tigers led 3-0.
“The defense played well,” Grand Junction coach James States said. “Kolton Flick had an incredible game. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The Wildcats had plenty of opportunities, taking 24 shots, but only 10 were on goal.
“We played hard,” Fruita coach Mark Young said. “We had several opportunities, but when you can’t capitalize on them, that’s what happens.
“You’ve got to give their defense credit. Junction’s defense looked very good. I thought we matched up everywhere else.”
Grand Junction took 22 shots, but the offense struggled in the first quarter, when both teams had ball-control issues.
“Ground balls were not in our favor tonight,” States said. “When you go from a rough field to a turf field, the ball has a tendency to get away from you.”
Boardwine broke the scoreless drought nearly 21 minutes into the game.
“As soon as we figured out the way they were playing defense, we knew we had this,” the Grand Junction junior said. “The way they played defense, they sucked in and I was open up top.”
The Tigers held on to the one-goal lead until Bell scored with 17 seconds left in the second quarter for a 2-0 lead.
Carlson scored 41⁄2 minutes into the third quarter to push the lead to three goals.
The Wildcats had a 1-on-1 scoring opportunity late in the third quarter, but Flick hit the Fruita attacker, knocking the ball loose.
“There were some bouncers coming in,” Flick said. “The last game I let a lot of them in, so my dad told me to smother the ball. Today, I was thinking bouncer, smother. That’s it.”
Fruita scored on a one-man advantage when Allen took a pass from Cody Young 41⁄2 minutes into the fourth quarter and found the net.
One minute later, Grand Junction halted a potential Fruita rally when Olson scored for a 4-1 lead.
Boardwine scored with 4:04 left in the game.
Fruita Monument goalkeeper Kyler Hanson made six saves.