Summit girl’s lacrosse finds a groove with wins against Rangeview, Durango
FRISCO — It’s tough playing spring lacrosse in a mountain town. But, every so often, it works out in the home team’s favor.
On Saturday — the first day of sunshine after a weeklong blizzard brought three feet of snow to most of Summit County — the Summit girl’s lacrosse team met with Rangeview on a chilly, windswept Tigers field. The Lady Tigers put on a commanding show, with precision passing and smart routes to earn their first shutout of the season, 15-0.
“Honestly, the entire team is working great right now,” first-year head coach Merri McKissock said after the win. “We have a large squad and everyone played well today. Everyone contributed, everyone played across the field and everyone is improving.”
Interstate 70 might have been the home team’s best ally off the turf. The varsity game was supposed to start at 11 a.m., but powder was calling to just about everyone from everywhere and the Rangeview bus got caught in the thick of ski traffic. The Raiders finally arrived around noon, just in time to meet a Tigers team that was prepped and primed and ready to capitalize on a 12-8 win over Durango on Friday. (The Tigers are technically 2-2 right now, but the March 17 game against Conifer was called with 9 minutes remaining. Summit hopes to reschedule.)
“It was great to have that win and everyone was excited,” McKissock said about the Durango game while waiting for Rangeview to weave through the skier throngs. “We have a lot of potential here. We have a deep bench with talented players. It can be hard to figure out who’s starting and who’s not.”
It’s not exactly a bad problem to have. McKissock’s star players set the tone early, with freshman Madeline Markel, junior Kenady Nevicosi, and junior sisters Loren and Katelyn Keen notching goals. Their coach was also happy to see several quick-stick goals — a must-have technique for any serious team.
The Summit varsity squad is both young and old this season, with just four seniors, 14 juniors and six promising underclassmen, plus a whopping 11 freshman who solely play JV. Five of the freshmen are swing players (they suit up for varsity and JV) and McKissock had all five of them play varsity against Rangeview. No better time than now to see tougher, faster opponents.
“They’re a good team with great camaraderie,” McKissock said, then paused. “They can be almost too nice on offense sometimes. I want to see them charge the net, make a push for those goals.”
In the varsity backfield, goalie Ella Piecoup was nothing short of a brick wall with magnets for hands. She and her defense played exactly how McKissock wanted, with a mix of aggression, intelligence and teamwork that’s hard to find with a large team.
But the season is still young and the toughest game yet is on the horizon, when the Tigers face rival Battle Mountain (2-0) in Edwards on Monday.
“They’re in very good spirits right now, but as I was reminding them, our biggest challenge is on Monday,” McKissock said. “A lot of the (Rangeview) game was spent working on new skills we need to compete next week. They’re very happy, but they’re preparing for that tough match on Monday.”
Rough start for boy’s LAX
Remember the ski traffic that came in handy for girl’s lacrosse? The March snowstorm had the opposite effect for the Summit boy’s team, which already had to postpone the Thursday home game against Conifer due to mounds and mounds of the fluffy white stuff. That game will be rescheduled soon.
Snow aside, the Tigers varsity team has started the season frustratingly slow and is now 0-2 for the season, with losses to Fruita Monument on March 11 and Green Mountain on March 16. Both games were close — Summit lost by two to Fruita and three to Green Mountain — but the Fruita match was a conference game, played on home turf, and the Tigers need every win they can muster.
The boys next face a tough Aspen team (1-1) away on March 23 in another conference match. After blowing away Telluride 16-1, Aspen’s sole loss this season came to Battle Mountain, a 6-2 affair that shows the Huskies will be a tough matchup (as always) when they face the Tigers in Edwards on April 19.
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