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FLC lacrosse beats Westminster in opener

Skyhawks score 17-10 win to start season
Ellie Martinez, pictured last season, scored three goals Friday to help Fort Lewis defeat Westminster College. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A balanced attack with seven Skyhawks scoring propelled the Fort Lewis College women's lacrosse team to a season-opening, 17-10, win over Westminster College in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Friday.

“It was so awesome to get the season kicked off today,” said head coach Ashley Travis. “Getting this win felt awesome for all of us. We played as a team today on both sides of the ball, which helped us get this win.

Fort Lewis (1-0, 1-0 RMAC) was outshot by Westminster 39-28, but 17 saves from returning All-RMAC goalkeeper Averi Basso kept the Skyhawks in it from the jump. Junior Liv Crawford led the team offensively with four goals on six shot attempts. Sophomore Ellie Martinez, junior Autumn Rymerson and senior Maren Clark each put up three-goal outings.

“Defense had some amazing stops and forced Westminster to take some low-angle shots that Averi was able to save. She had an amazing game in goal and really secured the win for us,” Travis said. “Autumn did amazing things for us on the draw today, securing us the ball in some crucial points of the game. On the attacking side, we moved the ball well once the pregame jitters were gone.”

Fort Lewis found its first goal of the season with 12:44 remaining in the first quarter courtesy of sophomore Caprietta Abbadessa to take a 1-0 lead. The Griffins scored three unanswered goals to go ahead 3-1 with 1:26 to go. Sophomore Haley Dostie picked up the final goal of the opening quarter with 0:26 to go to cut the lead to 3-2 after one quarter.

Dostie wasted no time notching her second goal in the second quarter, equalizing things at 3-3 just one minute in. Fort Lewis went on a charge, earning back-to-back goals from Martinez and Crawford to see a 6-4 edge with 8:53 remaining in the half. The Skyhawks saw their largest lead of the day at 9-5 with another goal from Crawford. Westminster picked up back-to-back scores to close out the quarter, cutting Fort Lewis’ lead to 9-7.

Out of the break, the Skyhawks kicked ahead 12-8 with goals from Rymerson, Clark, and Crawford. The blue and gold continued to pour on goals, elevating the lead to 15-9 before a last-second goal from Martinez had Fort Lewis up by seven-run heading into the final quarter of play.

The fourth quarter was far more defense-minded than the previous, with a Rymerson goal with 7:15 on the clock putting her team ahead 17-9. Westminster echoed the goal, pushing the score to 17-10, but two saves from Basso preserved the lead in a 17-10 final score.

Fort Lewis will be back in action at 1 p.m. Sunday for an RMAC showdown with Colorado Mesa University. Mesa beat Adams State 20-0 on Friday.