Big fourth quarter leads to Titans lacrosse win

Home game Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m.

By Than Acuff  

The Crested Butte Titans lacrosse team notched their second win in a row and their fourth win of the season to move into third place in the 4A Mountain league standings. After taking down the Montrose Red Hawks 11-6 on Tuesday, April 2, the Titans hit the road to face the Durango Demons on Saturday, April 6 and edged out a 6-5 win to remain on the winning track.

Crested Butte saw success against the Demons earlier this season with a hard fought 10-7 win and coach Carter Brock expected a similarly tough match in their second meeting.

The Demons were on track to avenge the loss to Crested Butte as they came out in the first quarter to build a 2-0 lead and scored a third goal in the second quarter before Jack Pierson scored for Crested Butte in the final minute of the second quarter and the Titans headed into halftime down 3-1.

“We played really well in the first quarter, just weren’t finding the net,” says Brock. “The momentum shifted when they scored those first two goals though.”

Crested Butte pulled to within one five minutes into the third quarter when Pierson scored again, but Durango responded two minutes later to pull ahead 4-2 and then tacked on another goal to take a 5-2 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t get many shots off in the third quarter and they had a new goalie in so the game plan for the fourth quarter was to get some shots on net,” says Brock.

Fraser Birnie had been dominating faceoffs all game, finished the game winning 12 of 15 faceoffs, and won the opening faceoff at the start of the fourth quarter to set up Riley Davis and pull back to within two of the Demons bringing the momentum back in Crested Butte’s favor.

A little over a minute later Crested Butte scored again as Ty Pulliam moved into offense as a long stick middie and passed to Pierson who scored his third goal of the game.

They carried their momentum into a man-down situation to hold off the Demon attack and then tied the game off a heads up play from Dawson Eastep. The Durango goalie shut down Luke Walton on the doorstep and looked to clear the ball, but Eastep picked off his pass, rolled toward the crease and dished it off to Pierson for his fourth goal of the game tying it up 5-5.

The difference in the game came with four minutes left as Davis beat his defender one-on-one and stuffed the ball top shelf for the Titans’ first lead of the game. They then held off Durango the remaining four minutes to seal their 6-5 comeback win. Titans goalie Gavin Fischer finished the game with 11 saves.

“As soon as Riley [Davis] scored that first goal, everyone started believing,” says Brock. “The guys just came together. It was our best quarter of lacrosse this year.”

The Titans face Grand Junction on Thursday, April 11 at home behind the Gunnison Middle School at 4 p.m. as they look to avenge a loss to Grand Junction earlier this season.

“Our defense has definitely tightened up so I’m excited to see that in this match up,” says Brock. “I expect a high-scoring game with a lot of physicality.”

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