Crested Butte Titans lacrosse falls to Fruita Monument

Celebrate the seniors at home game Friday, April 26

By Than Acuff 

It was a lot for the Crested Butte Titans lacrosse team to overcome when they faced the Fruita Monument Wildcats on Tuesday, April 23.

For starters, they had just come back from April break and had one practice before the game. Then, with the closure of the bridge over Blue Mesa, what was meant to be a home game turned into a road game in Vail.

Regardless, neither of those two things seemed to have an adverse effect on the Titans throughout the first half. The Titans opened the game showing patience on offense moving the ball and moving off the ball to maintain possession. Their efforts paid off three minutes into the game as Jack Pierson battled through three Wildcat players to score. Fraser Birnie won the ensuing faceoff, carried the ball up field and found Luke Walton in front of the net with a pass and Walton scored for a 2-0 Titans’ lead.

Crested Butte held their lead through the remainder of the first quarter and then started trading blows with Fruita through the second quarter.

Fruita scored the first two goals to tie the game up, but Pierson fed Walton on the wing and Walton scored on a low angle shot to put the Titans back on top. Fruita responded but Crested Butte retook the lead on another goal from Pierson before the Wildcats tied it up 4-4 by halftime.

“We came out hot like we wanted to,” says captain Ty Pulliam. “We got almost all of the ground balls in the first half.”

Crested Butte came out in the second half to score the first goal again as Pierson scooped up a loose ball to drive to the net and score his third goal of the game and things were looking good for Crested Butte.

But lacrosse is a game of runs and Fruita proceeded to score the next six goals to go up 10-5 before Walton scored off a long pass from Pulliam at the end of the quarter.

“We got a lot of penalties called against us and they got a lot of shots on the doorstep,” says Pulliam. “I think our only saving grace was our goalie saving a lot of close shots.”

Hopes of building off the late strike were soon dashed in the fourth quarter. Crested Butte grew impatient on offense as heavy pressure from the Wildcats led to miscues and Fruita rattled off five more goals while holding Crested Butte scoreless to seal their 16-5 win.

With more practices under their belt this week, the Titans look to bounce back when they host St. Mary’s on Friday, April 26 behind the Gunnison Middle School at 4:30 p.m. The Titan seniors will be recognized at this final home game of the season for Crested Butte.

“It will be our senior night so the energy will definitely be there,” says Pulliam. “We have a lot to work on, but I think we can pull through for Friday.”

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