Festive atmosphere at Suplizio can't lift Tigers
Despite its perkiness, the music that butted its way into Stocker Stadium from adjacent Suplizio Field, the sort of happy tunes well suited for Friday night’s Colorado Mesa University baseball game, could not rally the Grand Junction High School lacrosse team.
Aspen defeated Grand Junction, 7-6, amid lyrics such as “Hey, hey, baby ... I wanna know, if you’ll be my girl,” and “now walk it by yourself.”
Grand Junction (9-5, 8-5 Mountain League), already having been eliminated from playoff contention, soaked up the stadium’s new ambiance, which had varying effects.
“It kept me calm,” said Tigers keeper Kolton Flick, who had 15 saves, including three one-on-one stops. “Except that announcer. He kind of threw me off.”
The music, and the recent renovations, also created a big-league feel for some.
“It kind of made me nervous,” said Jacob Knight, who had two goals. “It’s such a nice stadium. And just the music. It’s a different atmosphere. It was more intense.”
Last time Grand Junction played Aspen (9-5, 9-5), defeating the Skiers 13-3, Kris States had seven goals.
Adjustments, of course, were made. States faced double- and triple-teams. He finished with one goal. The plan, when Grand Junction called timeout with 33 seconds remaining and down 7-6, was to get the ball to States on the right side of the net.
States was not open.
Paul Dohm caught a pass.
He remembered looking up at the clock.
“It was darn near seven seconds,” Dohm said.
Everyone was covered as Dohm raced from behind the net to the right side. He turned and took a quick step to the net, but crashed into an Aspen defender. So Dohm shot, from about 15 yards out, and Aspen’s Jordan Cottrell made the save.
The game-ending horn, for Grand Junction, was even worse music.
“The guy knocked me off balance a bit,” Dohm said. “So I didn’t have the power, nor the accuracy, to put the ball to its intended target.”
The game may not have been as close if it weren’t for Flick making saves on a few Aspen breakaways.
“I just watch the stick,” Flick said. “It’s stick to stick. When he shoots with the stick you should be right there with the stick.”
Grand Junction had 31 shots, and even took a 6-5 lead in the third quarter, but Aspen’s Ryan Fitzgerald had two of his three goals in the fourth quarter.
“We were off a little bit,” Grand Junction coach James States said.
But the music, if nothing else, seemed on all the whole time.