Titans lacrosse rallies to win over Durango

Next home game Tuesday, April 2

By Than Acuff 

It was a weekend of peaks and valleys for the Crested Butte Titans lacrosse team which started with a rough game against the Telluride Miners on Friday, March 22 but finished with a 10-7 win over Durango on Monday, March 25.

The Miners have a long-standing program that has seen success the past several years winning the league last year and making it to the third round of the 4A state tournament.

The Miners jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and kept the pedal to the metal to finish off their 16-2 win over the Titans.

Crested Butte then hit the road on Saturday, March 23 to face the Vanguard School Coursers. Last year the Titans cruised to a 12-0 win over the Coursers, but they met a much tougher Vanguard team this time around as the Titans fell behind early but fought to tie it up 4-4 by halftime.

“We have been coming out too slow but coming back in the last couple minutes of the half was exciting,” says head coach Carter Brock. 

Vanguard took a one goal advantage during the nine-goal third quarter and then held onto their slim lead through the fourth quarter to take down the Titans 11-10.

“We were just battling back the whole game and missed a ton of really good looks in the last two minutes of the game,” says Brock.

The Titans rebounded from the two losses when they hosted the Durango Demons on Monday, March 25. The Demons nearly scored in the opening minute on a shot close in that was kicked wide by defenseman Trey Smolen. Durango held possession following the initial attempt and eventually found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Crested Butte answered back when Riley Davis came around the crease and rolled inside of his defenseman to score, but Durango went back on top scoring in a man-up situation.

But the Titans have a secret weapon in faceoff specialist Fraser Birnie and Birnie won the ensuing face off to get the ball to AJ Hegeman who then fed Luke Walton for a goal to tie the game 2-2.

Durango finished the first quarter with one more goal for a 3-2 lead, but Crested Butte came out in the second quarter to rattle off three straight goals. Dawson Eastep started it off scoring midway through the quarter. Forty seconds later Hegeman got a step 15 yards in front of the Durango goal and scored and then Eastep scooped up a ground ball and found Davis open in front of the crease with a pass and Davis scored to put the Titans up 5-3.

Durango fought back at the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter to tie the game 5-5 but the Titans returned to their scoring ways as Jack Pierson drove from the wing and scored in the final minute of the third quarter and the Titans struck twice more at the start of the fourth quarter.

“A couple of big saves from Gavin Fischer in the second half led to fast break goals which really brought the energy up,” says Brock.

A near-perfect clear by the Titans got the ball to Davis and he passed off to Pierson for his second goal and Jordan Silva found a small seam in the Durango defense to score. Fifty seconds later Walton scored and Crested Butte was back on top 9-5 with six minutes left in the game. The Demons made a push down the stretch but Crested Butte finished with a 10-7 win.

“It was nice to see the team having fun and come out with a win,” says Brock.

The Titans head to Telluride on Friday, March 29 for a game at 4 p.m. and then are back home to face Montrose on Tuesday, April 2.

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