“We’re still learning a lot”
By Than Acuff
It’s been a steep learning curve for the Crested Butte Titans lacrosse team in its first year as a varsity program. While numbers are good, illness has run rampant through the program and field time has been tough to come by with the recent spate of storms.
Tack on the fact that they opened the season against some more established programs, and the Titans are in a serious trial-by-fire phase, for now.
With storms creating chaos in the Titans’ schedule as well, games have been relocated and/or rescheduled to accommodate. Case in point last week as the Titans headed to Montrose on Thursday, March 23 to face the Telluride Miners. The Telluride program has been in place for quite some time, and they’ve made the transition from fledgling program to a team that continues to gain ground each season.
“They’re a strong program and we knew they would be strong this year,” says coach Buck Seling.
Crested Butte headed to Montrose with players either missing or just returning to the team from illness, and the lack of consistency on the Titans team proved to be advantageous for the Miners squad.
“We were missing players and had players missing practices due to illness,” says Seling. “There seems to always be a missing piece, or two missing pieces, out on the field.”
The Titans did strike first as Jack Pierson took advantage of a Miner miscue to scoop up a loose ball and score, but the Miners responded scoring three goals in the first quarter and another four in the second quarter for a 7-1 lead at halftime.
“They had a lot of really good off-ball movement and were getting looks inside in front of the goal,” says Seling. “We just did not keep up with our men.”
The Titans’ struggles defensively continued in the second half, though they did have a good stretch during a man-down situation. But a lack of faceoff wins and struggles scoring, even in man-up situations, still troubled the Titans. Telluride tacked on four more goals in the third quarter and two more in the fourth while Pierson netted his second goal of the game in the fourth quarter as the Titans fell 13-2.
“We just didn’t have enough,” says Seling. “We’re still learning a lot. Something is going to start clicking.”
The Titans face Durango this week, while their game on Saturday, April 1 remains in flux due to the weather forecast. The hope is that they will finally get a home game Tuesday, April 4 when they host Fruita Monument on the field behind Gunnison Middle School at 4 p.m.