Demons come up short in loss to Devils
A late first-half goal and five straight goals to start the second half by the visiting Eagle Valley Devils was too much for the host Glenwood Springs Demons lacrosse team to overcome Friday night in a 9-6 loss at Stubler Memorial Field.
Locked in a tight battle in the first half, Glenwood was able to take a 1-0 lead at the 8:47 mark of the first quarter as senior Shane Beckley was able to bury a shot past Eagle junior goalie Spencer Burwell off of a feed from fellow senior Zach Johnson from behind the net.
Holding a 1-0 lead, Glenwood turned up the intensity defensively, forcing the Devils to play from the perimeter where they were unable to get a good shot off on net.
Off the back of strong defensive play, Glenwood was able to draw a man advantage midway through the first quarter, but Burwell was able to stand tall for the Devils, thwarting a point-blank shot from Glenwood senior Ben Liotta during the man advantage to keep the game at 1-0 Glenwood.
Eagle senior David Witt then hit a post behind Glenwood senior goalie Joe Liotta in some intense back-and-forth action in the first quarter before sophomore Kenny Rindy was able to get the Devils on the board at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter.
Rindy took a feed from junior Zach Booth while cutting into the middle all alone, beating Joe Liotta high over his stick to knot the game at 1-1 after one period of play.
Locked up at 1-1, it was Joe Liotta’s turn to come up with a big point-blank save to keep the game tied, stopping an Eagle shot from in close on two straight possessions and firing up the Glenwood faithful.
But the Devils would slip a shot past Liotta a few minutes later as junior Wyatt Alt found the back of the net in the top left corner, giving the Devils a 2-1 lead.
Johnson would answer just under 30 seconds later, firing a laser of a shot while streaking down the right wing, beating Burwell waist high to the far post and making it 2-2 with 4:19 left in the second quarter.
From there, the two teams would trade possessions until Eagle senior Finn Blomquist was able to beat Liotta with six seconds remaining in the half.
Blomquist made a great run down the left wing before cutting into the middle of the attacking box to fire a shot on Liotta, who got a lot of stick on the shot, but not enough as the ball had enough juice left in it to get over the line, giving the Devils a 3-2 lead at the half.
Heading into the break and riding high after taking a late lead, Eagle picked up right where it left off, starting the second half on fire, while Glenwood looked lackluster. The Devils scored five straight goals to start the third quarter, taking an 8-2 lead as freshman Philip Petersen scored three straight goals, while Rindy and junior Holden Staveny added one each to allow the Devils to create ample breathing room.
“In the second quarter we were just out-hustling them completely,” Glenwood Head Coach Jay French said. “Whether that was with ground balls … all aspects of the game, but then it’s been a similar story with us. We just kind of fell apart defensively and offensively for those five minutes there in the third quarter.
“We played three and a half quarters today, and we lost by three goals. That’s the difference.”
Trailing 8-2 quickly, Glenwood would find its footing, scoring two unanswered goals to close the quarter as Ben Liotta capped off a long run down the far sideline by beating Burwell on a bouncing shot at the 4:37 mark of the third quarter. Then, freshman attacker Lance Weidemann scored his first of the game with 1:09 left in the quarter, beating Burwell on another bouncing shot from the right wing, this one bouncing over his right shoulder into the top corner of the net to pull the Demons to within 8-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final 12 minutes of play, Glenwood would outscore the Devils 2-1 as Johnson and Weidemann would sandwich goals around an Eagle tally from Blomquist, but it would be too little, too late as the rough stretch at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half did the Demons in on the night.
“We had some tough shots tonight and we had our chances offensively,” Glenwood assistant coach Jason Rusby said. “We hit the goalie a number of times. But that halftime break usually seems to deflate our sails. We’ve tried everything to correct it, but we just can’t for some reason come out in the second half ready to go.”
With the loss, Glenwood falls to 1-7, 0-6 4A Western League on the year.
The Demons will look to snap a six-game losing streak at 4 p.m. Tuesday when they travel to Steamboat Springs to take on the Sailors.