Team effort lifts Fruita past Durango
There are times when Aiden Woomer makes spectacular plays look effortless.
He leads the Fruita Monument High School boys lacrosse team with 18 goals, and against Durango on Saturday, he added three to his total as the Wildcats downed Durango 11-3.
Woomer also added a season-high four assists. The junior team captain also excels in football and wrestling, and according to coach Mark Young, his athleticism has made him one of the most talented underclassman in the Mountain Lacrosse League. Battle Mountain’s Cooper Perkins, with 23 goals, is the only MLL underclassman with more goals.
“Aiden is just a great athlete, period,” Young said. “I’m privileged to have him on my team because he does make scoring look easier than it actually is. That kid practices hard every day, plays the game with full heart, and those things show during games. He’s only a junior, so we get him for another whole year, too.”
After Woomer notched his third goal, capping a 7-0 run to start the first half, the Wildcats (7-3, 7-2 MLL) rotated in younger players, testing different attacking combinations.
“We’ve got some players that have had to miss time,” Young said. “We wanted to get some normal attackmen in the midfield and player some attackers that typically don’t get as much playing time. We wanted to see how they would jell, and they played wonderfully today. We needed something to boost the confidence of our players after the losing streak and that was it. Our confidence is back.”
Fruita started the season undefeated before suffering a three-game losing streak. After squeaking out a win against Eagle Valley, Fruita dominated Glenwood Springs and Durango (3-10, 3-10 MLL). The Wildcats have surrendered four goals in the past nine quarters, and have allowed only an average of two shots on goal per quarter in that span.
“Our defense has been playing fantastic,” Young said. “Two things are going on right now. One, our defense has been hard to get through. I think Corey Henricksen is a fantastic goalie and has been playing great. Two, our offense has been keeping the ball on the other side of the field most of the time.
“Our defense can play amazing when they aren’t being constantly pressured.”
Fruita had a season-high 39 shots against Durango. Justin Young, Jack Deitel and Wyatt Allen each had two goals and Allen added two assists.
“My mentality is to get rid of the ball, whether it’s in the net or to another player’s stick,” Woomer said. “We’re a really talented team, but the only time our talent shows is when we play like a team. Sometimes we can get selfish, and that hurts our team and our season.
“It’s eye-opening to get two big wins like this because it lets us know that we need to keep fighting for our record.”
Grand Junction is up next for the Wildcats, Tuesday at Walker Field. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers 10-5 during their first matchup. It was only the third time Fruita beat Junction in the program’s history.
“I feel like I’ve gotten my team back,” Young said. “After that losing streak, our team and coaches were down. Today, I got Fruita lacrosse back, and that’s what we need going up against Junction.”