Titans lacrosse notches first win of season over Montrose

Hosts Telluride Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Gunnison

By Than Acuff 

The Crested Butte Titans lacrosse team just wrapped up a frantic week with three road games over five days, a tough test given the intense physicality of the sport and successive bus rides. And while they dropped the first two games of the stretch, they saved the best for last with a 9-4 win over Montrose on Saturday, March 16.

They opened with a game against Grand Junction on Tuesday, March 12, in Grand Junction and after coming out hot scoring two goals to open the game, Grand Junction rattled off the next five goals.

“We were down 5-2 in no time,” says coach Carter Brock.

Games can turn back in a team’s favor though, and Crested Butte started pulling back into the game during the second and third quarters answering Grand Junction’s goals with goals of their own to pull within two by the end of the third quarter.

But Grand Junction’s defense held tight, and they managed to score two more goals in the fourth quarter to pull away for the 11-7 win. Luke Walton and Jack Pierson each finished with a hat trick with AG Hegeman tacking on one and Fraser Birnie finished the day winning 15 of 19 faceoffs.

“Grand Junction was good and had a solid defense that was putting pressure on us and we just weren’t finding the back of the net,” says Brock. “It was good to get some goals going since we only scored two on Aspen the game before.”

The Titans spent a day training and then headed back to Grand Junction on Thursday, March 14 to face Fruita Monument. Fruita Monument got the jump on the Titans to take a 5-1 lead by halftime, but the Titans slowly and surely started chipping away at Fruita’s lead.

“We rallied back to make it 5-5,” says Brock.

Fruita then set up and, after a lengthy possession, scored to make it 6-5. Crested Butte called a timeout down the stretch to set up one last chance but their final shot on net with seven seconds left hit off a defender’s foot and missed the mark leaving Crested Butte with a 6-5 loss. Gavin Fischer finished the game with 16 saves, Birnie won 12 of 14 faceoffs while Rowan Dishmon scored two goals and Walton, Pierson and Dawson Eastep each tallied one.

Brock attributes the loss, in part, to his team’s struggles in man-up situations and rather than get them back on the field for another practice Friday prior to Saturday’s game, he opted for something else.

“It’s tough playing three games in a week. The kids were feeling it, so we watched some game film,” says Brock. “We were zero for six on man up situations so we looked at those some.”

Crested Butte then traveled to Montrose on Saturday for the last game of the week. Montrose struck first but the Titans stayed on course and when Walton scored on a man up situation in the second quarter, they caught fire.

“After that, everyone was getting in on it,” says Brock.

Fischer was on point in net as the Titans started pulling away eventually handing Montrose an 8-4 loss for their first win of the season. Riley Davis recorded a hat trick, Dishmon scored two and Walton, Pierson and Birnie scored one goal each. Fischer finished with 10 saves in the game.

“It was great to see Fraser [Birnie] score,” says Brock. 

Crested Butte has a massive test ahead of them as they host Telluride on Friday, March 22 behind the Gunnison Middle School at 5:30 p.m.

“They’re definitely one of the powerhouses in the league,” says Brock. “We need to capitalize on ground balls and clears.”

Check Also

Mother Nature turns 2024 Grand Traverse around

Logan Greydanus and Adam Loomis repeat title By Than Acuff  It is rare but it …