Summit High School girls lacrosse struggles with numbers in loss to Aspen |

Summit High School girls lacrosse struggles with numbers in loss to Aspen

With too few to play full games, Tigers will end season Saturday, June 5

The Summit High School girls varsity lacrosse team defends in the season opener versus Battle Mountain on May 8 in Breckenridge.
Photo by Ashley Low / Ashley Low Photography

A shorthanded Summit High School varsity girls lacrosse team lost a 23-3 final home contest of the season to Aspen on Thursday, June 3, at Tiger Stadium.

The game was played in 10-versus-10 format rather than traditional 12-versus-12 fashion because the Tigers only had 11 players available. Tigers head coach Samantha Lonsway said the lack of players in the program means Summit will end its season early Saturday, June 5, at Steamboat Springs. Lonsway said she was expecting 14 players to show up Thursday, but ultimately only 11 did.

“Running at full speed for 50 minutes straight, it’s exhausting,” the coach said. “And some of these girls, it’s their first year playing. So that’s a lot at once to take on in an entire game.”

The coach said individual players are opting out of the season and choosing to move on with their summers apart from the team during the final weeks of the scheduled season. The Colorado High School Activities Association extended this year’s “Season D” beyond the end of the school year as part of a four-season plan in response to COVID-19.

“It’s really disappointing because I think the school year ends and then the girls don’t want to — they just kind of put lacrosse as, ‘Oh, the season’s done,’” Lonsway said. “When these 11 girls showed up to play (Thursday) — and we are missing players, which is upsetting — for these girls to show up to practices, to show up to the games really shows how much they’ve improved.”

Lonsway said much of the Tigers who comprised the team on the pitch Thursday were first-year players, including some sophomores who did not have the chance to play lacrosse last spring due to the pandemic canceling the season.

“This was their first year playing, and for them to be able to start an entire varsity game and play, usually they wouldn’t have that kind of opportunity,” Lonsway said. “So I’m glad that they get that opportunity to play against good teams like Aspen and we are able to battle with them. The last five minutes I think we were dominating, which was awesome to see.”

Summit freshman Ella Rader once again showed her bright future with the program, scoring the first goal of the game for the Tigers and their lone first-half tally. Lonsway said Rader has improved to win more faceoffs for possession, which the Tigers won five of Thursday.

“She actually won some faceoffs and was able to gain possession and move the ball down the field, which is a huge improvement from our first three games,” Lonsway said. “I think everyone’s ability to play midfield, offense, defense, when we only have 11 girls is really helpful. So the fact Ella could start at midfield and win draws, then move to attack and move to defense and other girls were able to step up was amazing.”

Rader and Tiger sophomore midfielder Liliana Wiethake led the team with three shots each while senior goalie Sydney Mullins stopped 18 shots.

Wiethake and Tiger sophomore midfielder Logan Reid were the other two Tiger scorers for the day. The Tigers totaled nine shots on goal.

“Logan was able to take shots and keep playing even after she was exhausted,” Lonsway said. “As a coach, we can’t teach that. That comes from their heart. And Lili, she is our super speed demon. She’s aggressive, a powerhouse and originally just was midfield. But she’s been doing such an awesome job on defense we moved her to defense. You can see when she gets it from the defense she’s able to run all the way up take a shot and score.”

Now with an 0-7 record, Summit will conclude the season early at 11 a.m. Saturday at Steamboat Springs.

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