Another unlucky finish for DHS

Aspen, however: ‘We just got lucky at the end,’ one Skiers’ player says

Once again, the Durango High School girls lacrosse team missed overtime by the smallest of margins.

In the last 3 seconds of Saturday’s Mountain League matchup between the Demons and the Aspen Skiers, Samantha Jones twice got mugged inside the eight meter line.

Two penalties. Two shots at extra time.

The first mugging, a push on the left side of the goal with 3 seconds left, gave Jones a free position attempt. Instead of a shot, though, she got swarmed by Skiers.

The second mugging, a check to the head to the center-right of the goal with 2 seconds left, gave her a second one. She got that shot off, but it bounced just wide of the goal.

There was no scoreboard confusion this time, such as the “game-tying goal” against Fruita Monument on Friday that wasn’t. Overtime slipped the Demons’ grasp for the second time in as many days, and Aspen won 8-7 at DHS Stadium.

“Durango in the second half, they hustled their butts off, and we just got lucky at the end,” Aspen’s Shannon Turbidy said.

Jones’ game-tying try would’ve put the cap on a 3-1 second half for the Demons after they trailed 7-4 at halftime.

Angela Grogan scored a wrap-around goal with 16 minutes, 23 seconds to go, then Tymbree Hawkins played copycat to inch Durango within one with 10:50 remaining in the game.

Hannah Quick’s point-blank blast off a long, cross-field pass from Sheila Prentice tied the score for the first time since a 4-all score with 7:20 to go in the first half with 5:04 to go in the game.

Turbidy wasn’t having it. She took a pass Libby Dowly on a quick cut to the goal, and Trubidy found net behind DHS goalkeeper McKenna Rigdon for the fifth time Saturday. Game over.

“My biggest asset is my speed, so that’s what I used,” the junior midfielder said.

Rigdon made four saves Saturday; Aspen keeper Isabella Courtenay-Morris made five for the win.

But this game was all about pace control.

Durango’s second-frame hustle turned the tide a little too late after the Skiers managed their way to a fairly easy first-half lead with fundamental play.

“Our team played some very nicely composed lacrosse on offense and on defense,” Aspen head coach Lauren Riddick said.

Aspen spread its attack and controlled the tempo with short, snappy and on-target passes and fixture groundball pickups, over which the Demons fumbled.

“Groundballs were like the ugliest thing ever for us,” DHS head coach Jenni Darlow said.

Then in the transition, the Skiers slowed Durango’s offense with double-, triple- or quadruple-teams at center field and kept the Demons from getting into much of a passing-forward rhythm.

“I want to see more possession through the midfield,” Darlow said. “We get a little bit frantic. ... They were swarming the ball, and that killed us.”

It helped the Skiers jump to a 2-0 lead with 12:30 to go in the first half, before Durango’s Alyssa Montoya got going.

Montoya assisted on the Demons’ first two goals, scored the third and assisted on the last one before the break, leading Durango to their only lead of the day, 4-3, before the Skiers answered with four in a row.

“I love the way it feels when I feed the ball and get a good, quick goal off of it,” said Montoya, who has seven assists and two goals in two games. “I just love to play a part in my team’s success. It feels so good to get that assist.”

Haley Dallas, Emma Marshall and Alyssa Swan scored on Montoya’s assists for seven goals from seven different Demons.

Paige Johnson scored two goals, and Dowley added one to Turbidy’s five for Aspen (3-1, 2-1 ML).

“I was really happy with a lot of things,” Darlow said. “It makes me very happy as a coach that we did adjust. ... Seven goals for seven different people – you can’t ask for much more than that.

“Well, you could ask for a win, I guess.”

Durango (0-2, 0-2 ML) will continue Mountain League play against Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. Friday in Gypsum.

Durango will play at Battle Mountain at 11 a.m. Saturday.