FARMER'S KORNER - After struggling through much of the first half, the Tigers went into the intermission of Tuesday's rematch with Grand Junction tied at 4-4. It was a far cry from Summit's dominating 11-4 win against the Mountain League foe earlier in the season, but, once the second half started, things seemed back to normal for the Tigers.
Summit scored the first four goals after halftime and cruised to the 11-6 win at home.
Sophomore Kelly Joyce scored four goals, senior Bri Barto had three, and freshman goalie Chelsea Christianson made a number of key saves, as the Tiger girls' lacrosse team moved to within one win of a league title.
"It's hard. We have to play to our potential from the beginning. We can't play down, and that's what got us," SHS head coach Kristin Elliott said. "They picked it up at halftime, which was good."
Summit's offense, with five different goal scorers, may have saved the win in the end, but it was the Tiger defense that kept the game close, allowing Summit to take control late.
And the defense needed to be good, as Summit staggered out of the gates. Grand Junction, meanwhile, seemed to be out for revenge.
The visitors scored three times in the first 10 minutes of the game, taking a decisive 3-0 lead after the Tigers committed a couple costly fouls.
It wasn't until 14:13 left in the half that the Tigers netted their first goal. Barto knocked the ball away from the Grand Junction goalie on a clearing attempt, and senior Jaclin Limone recovered the ball and fed Barto for a goal in front.
Limone then set up a tally from Joyce less than two minutes later.
Michelle Warpecha then tied the game, and Joyce scored off a feed from Barto to give Summit the 4-3 lead with 18.8 seconds left.
Grand Junction answered, though, before the break, winning the ensuing faceoff and creating a fastbreak that led to the tying goal.
"Getting draw controls are huge and ground balls are huge," Elliott said. "Getting back to basics is important when you're down."
And that's what the Tigers did in the second half, controlling virtually every aspect of the game.
Barto scored a quick goal, and when senior Katy Aceto scored twice and Joyce added another, the Tigers suddenly had an 8-4 lead only 4:59 into the half.
Grand Junction would cut it to a two-goal lead at one point but never staged a viable rally.
Joyce added another goal later in the period, as did Limone.
In the end, the Tigers (11-2) got exactly what they needed from the game and look ahead to an important matchup with Fruita-Monument on Friday to determine the league title.
"We have to get that win," Elliott said. "The league comes down to that game."
Before the title tilt, Summit plays at St. Mary's Academy today at 4:15 p.m. in a nonconference match.
Friday's game is at home and slated to start at 4 p.m.