Summit High School boys lacrosse fights, falls in rivalry game
Battle Mountain Huskies defeat Tigers 11-8
The Summit High School varsity boys lacrosse team battled and kept the game close late before ultimately losing 11-8 to rival Battle Mountain High School Saturday, May 22, at Tiger Stadium.
Tigers head coach Matty Marks was very familiar with the visiting Huskies heading into the game thanks to his time coaching more than 10 of them with the 10th Mountain Lacrosse Club. Marks said he coached more Husky players than Tigers players this past summer with the club amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With that knowledge, Marks drafted a game plan emphasizing attention to detail and making the most of whatever offensive possession the Tigers could gather. The focus led to an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals from senior Matthew Shafer and senior Jagger Koch. The way Summit started the game Saturday was a stark contrast to their form in their only other two games of the season thus far — lopsided losses on the road and at home versus Vail Mountain School.
“We had some opportunities on offense to get our rhythm back and chemistry working and we saw that in the first half when we were able to get up on them a few goals, get our juices flowing,” Marks said.
The Huskies responded with their possession-heavy attack of dodging and scoring to tie the game at 2-2 early in the second quarter. Summit would took lead again with back-to-back goals later in the quarter, capped by a scoring strike from senior star Andrew Duxbury.
The runs for each team ebbed and flowed through the remainder of the first half as the rivals entered halftime tied 5-5.
The Huskies put Summit on their back heels in a dominant third quarter, extending the lead thanks to strong offensive play from freshman midfielder Thomas Dekanich, junior attackman P.J. Kessenich and sophomore attackman Nate Bishop. The control of possession Battle Mountain exhibited prevented the Tigers from having too many chances on their half of the field, though junior defenseman-turned-attackman Graham Kalaf found the back of the net to keep the Tigers close.
Early in the fourth quarter, Kalaf found the back of the net again to draw Summit to within two goals. Marks said the young team is working to have some of its offense manifest from on-ball screens and off-ball movement to open up lanes for dodging and shooting. Kalaf exhibited that with his score.
In the end, a late goal for Battle Mountain in the game’s final two minutes sealed Summit’s fate to an 0-3 start to the season. Despite the fact that Jac Crowe was bested on that final goal, Marks said the junior goalie played a fantastic game. Marks said he appreciates the goalie’s perfectionist approach and high standard for himself as Summit is leaning on him a lot to make saves, clear the ball and get the Tigers going up into the offensive end as their offense continues to find themselves without the injured senior captain Will Wagner.
On the offense end, Marks said Shafer and his hat trick of three goals was the highlight of the day. The senior Shafer’s performance also came on a day where he wore the No. 4 in honor of late teammate Toby Gard, who died last spring. Gard would have been a junior contributor on this year’s Tiger team. To honor him, Marks and the Tigers coaching staff is picking a different player for each game to wear Gard’s No. 4 jersey.
“Even though we lost today, I told the team this is a huge step in the right direction for the team and program and long-term pathway,” Marks said.
Summit is next scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Monday, May 24, at home versus Steamboat Springs.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.