There’s one way to fix Durango’s one-goal problem

How does the Durango High School girls lacrosse team quit losing by a single goal? The answer isn’t complicated.“Play better,” DHS head coach Jenni Darlow said. “It is that simple.

“All of our one-point losses were winnable games. But we didn’t execute the little things that turned out to be big things.”

Big things because they turned a 4-0 record into a 1-3 record, with 12-11, 8-7 and 9-8 lossses to Fruita Monument, Aspen and Battle Mountain, respectively, with Durango’s win coming 10-1 over Eagle Valley.

“And they’re sick of losing by one,” Darlow said of the Demons.

DHS is looking to clear the one-goal hurdle when it hosts Mountain League opponent Summit at 11 a.m. today at DHS Stadium.The focus in practice this week has been intensity, as Darlow tries to shape a mentality that will push the Demons to bigger margins than those by which they’ve lost.Because only having beaten Summit once in the four years the two teams have played, Durango has a challenge ahead of itself.

“We have to put our heart in it, bring it and leave it on the field,” said Alyssa Montoya, daughter of Richard and Victoria Montoya.

The Demons have struggled with offensive production in spats this year, which will be a focal point today, with leading scorer Hannah Quick missing for a volleyball commitment.But they will have Sara Martin back in the midfield after trading her hockey stick for a lacrosse stick, and she’ll provide some support that could bolster Durango’s goal-scoring ability.“Sara brings some help, some speed and good skills into our transition,” Darlow said.Montoya should benefit from that.

A year after leading DHS in assists as a junior, Montoya is back at it again, tallying eight in the first four games, twice as many as anyone else on the squad.Darlow wants a little more selfishness out of her senior leader.“She’s been doing great with the assists,” Darlow said. “I want her to score some more goals.”

Montoya said she plans to add to her five-goal total today, with the specter of those one-goal losses looming large.

“I think just knowing that we don’t want to lose by that one point; that is the death of us,” Montoya said. “I just need to get that in my head, let it motivate me.”

jsojourner@durangoherald.com