Steamboat Springs routs Summit High School lacrosse team in season opener

Summit lacrosse team looking to improve upon record over the last few seasons

Cody Jones/Summit Daily News
The opening face-off between Summit High School and Steamboat Springs High School on Tuesday, March 14 in Breckenridge.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

The Summit High School boys lacrosse team wants to change the projection of the program over the last few seasons.

Since the spring of 2018, head boys lacrosse coach Matty Marks’ squad has only recorded a few wins, earning an overall record of 15-40.

With a lot of young players making up the 2023 varsity roster, the team will once again be challenged in a competitive 4A Western Slope league.

Despite only having a handful of seniors listed on the roster, the team still has plenty of athletic upperclassmen leaders, including senior Keaton Smith and junior Owen Moore, that will look to lead the team to more wins this season.

“We’ve done a lot of preparing,” Smith said. “Working hard and putting in a lot of work to grow as a team. Trying to achieve both measurable goals but also everyone staying committed to the team and putting in effort to find success in the end.”

With a couple weeks of practice under the team’s belt and new bright green helmets, Summit headed into its season opener against Steamboat Springs High School on Tuesday, March 14, ready for a new season.

In the early minutes of Summit’s home opener, the two interleague teams spent time getting comfortable with an in-game environment after a long offseason. The Sailors found their footing first, as the team made a strong push down the field and sank a shot past Summit goaltender Wyatt Hutson.

The opening goal did not hamper Summit’s energy as the team continued to make a surge towards its own offensive zone. Summit had a strong possession in front of the net, but the team failed to record a shot on goal.

Cody Jones/Summit Daily News
Steamboat Spring’s Andrew Kempers fires a pass over a group of Summit defenders during Summit’s home opener on Tuesday, March 14.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

Steamboat Springs scored its second goal of the game five minutes into the first quarter, and with some momentum flowing to the Sailors, the floodgates began to open.

Executing on defensive miscues, Steamboat senior Andrew Kempers used his speed to give the Sailors a 6-0 lead entering the second quarter.

Summit struggled in the second quarter. The Tigers had trouble possessing the ball for longer than a minute and consistently produced turnovers that gave the ball back to the Sailors.

The series of mistakes and defensive miscommunications from the Summit defense led to more goals from the Sailors, who extended the lead to 10-0.

With under four minutes remaining in the half, Summit saw a glimpse of success. The team did better at possessing the ball and really started to pursue the net. Despite the opportunities to score, Summit still failed to record a shot on net that truly threatened the Steamboat goaltender.

Steamboat Springs went into halftime up 13-0.

With Summit in a zone defense to begin the second half, the team did a better job at slowing down the Sailors’ speedy high-power offense.

The zone forced Steamboat Springs to slow down its pace of play and observe the Summit defense before trying to find a way to cut to the net. Smith said Summit’s defense and overall play improved in the second half.

“I think better communication between players was helpful,” Smith said. “With it being the first game, there is a lot of learning to be had. Having that first half, learning from those first half experiences and finding the parts that aren’t working helped in the second half in establishing the zone defense — but I would say mostly communication.”

Cody Jones/Summit Daily News
Keaton Smith works to strip the ball away from a Steamboat Spring’s defensemen during Summit’s home opener on Tuesday, March 14.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

On the other side of the field, Moore and senior Noah Preaus continued to seek opportunities to put Summit on the board. The duo tried to juke out defenders and cut to the net, but it was not enough to give Summit a goal.

Summit went into the fourth quarter trailing 16-0.

Summit continued to tighten up its defense in order to prevent further goals. The defense only allowed 2 points in the fourth quarter, but Steamboat Springs ended up shutting out Summit 18-0.

Although the double-digit loss was disheartening to the Summit lacrosse team, Smith and the rest of the team still feel hopeful for the remainder of the season.

“It is a young team, and there are a lot of players that are still developing their skills,” Smith said. “I think that what we are lacking in experience we are making up in effort. Now we have a base at least, and we know what we can grow on. It is important to keep growing and improving in the season.”

The Summit boys lacrosse team had Wednesday and Thursday to improve upon its play and regroup before the team faces another challenging league opponent in Eagle Valley High School on Friday, March 17, in Gypsum.

The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

2023 Summit High School boys lacrosse schedule
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  • March 17 at Eagle Valley, 5:30 p.m.
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  • March 21 at Vail Mountain, 4 p.m.
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  • March 24 at Battle Mountain, 6 p.m.
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  • March 25 vs. Holy Family, 1 p.m.
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  • March 28 vs. Eagle Valley, 5:30 p.m.
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  • March 30 at Conifer, 4 p.m.
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  • March 31 at Arvada West, 5:30 p.m.
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  • April 4 vs. Battle Mountain, 4 p.m.
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  • April 8 vs. Aspen, 11 a.m.
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  • April 11 vs. Glenwood Springs, 4 p.m.
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  • April 13 at Steamboat Springs, 6 p.m.
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  • April 25 vs. Vail Mountain, 5:30 p.m.
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  • April 28 at Glenwood Springs, 6 p.m.
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  • May 5 at Aspen, 5 p.m.
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