Windsor handles slow-starting GJ
With 8:49 left in the second quarter Monday night, the Grand Junction High School boys lacrosse team finally put a shot on net.
The Tigers were shut out until, with two minutes remaining in the first half, Logan Branson finished 15 feet from the crease and took a punishing late hit.
Despite the slow start in a nonleague game against Windsor at Stocker Stadium, the Tigers kept it close before falling 10-4.
The Wizards scored three goals in the first two minutes, with lightning-quick ball movement keyed by Austin Lind and Hunter Hopp. Windsor picked apart the Tigers’ defense with precision passing and back-door cuts to the crease, dominating possession in the process.
Once Grand Junction closed off passing lanes and maintained possession of its own, the Tigers limited Windsor’s opportunities. Grand Junction trailed 4-1 at half, and back-to-back goals from Nic Gookin closed the gap to 5-3 at the end of the third quarter.
But the offensive effort in mounting a comeback led to a defensive letdown as the Wizards pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“It was a really slow start,” Grand Junction coach James States said. “They scored three goals in quick succession there at the beginning and it took a little heart from us.
“But the defense definitely changed the mode after that start, we just couldn’t get our offense going. We didn’t get our first goal until late in the second and that’s a little late.”
Gookin’s two goals led the Tigers and Riley Davis-McDougal finished with three assists. Marques Combs added a goal midway through the fourth quarter from 25 feet out.
Jacob Hart spent most of the game in net and finished with nine saves. Jax Gardner picked up one save in relief.
States said the “ride,” where attackmen and midfielders attempt to stop an opposing team from carrying the ball into the attacking zone, as well as clearing and fundamentals are targets for improvement.
“That’s one of the things we talked about, those swim moves,” he said. “Those one-handed stick checks, things we don’t normally teach them to do but you can’t always control once you’re out there. Because we aren’t coaching them to do that, but we do understand that and it’s something we will definitely work on in practice.
“We need to come out earlier, be tougher, and really put our feet down earlier. We need to be more fundamentally sound.
“We gave up those three goals there early and the goals late were the result of our offense pushing to catch up. It put us in a bad position where they could throw the ball around for two minutes and eventually find the open guy.”