Demons end lacrosse season on an upswing |

Demons end lacrosse season on an upswing

Jon Mitchell
Glenwood Springs High School's Tyler Spence (left) fights for a loose ball with Eagle Valley's Wyatt Alt during the third quarter of Friday afternoon's lacrosse gae at Stubler Memorial Field in Glenwood Springs. The Devils beat the Demons, 12-4.
Jon Mitchell / |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — All Rick Stevens has to do to prove that the Glenwood Springs High School boys lacrosse team is improving is point to the scoreboard.

“I’m not sure how much we lost to these guys by last time,” the Demons’ coach said following his team’s 12-4 season-ending loss to Eagle Valley at Stubler Memorial Field on Friday. “I think it might have been 20-2 or something. But the big thing is that we haven’t been subject to the [mercy rule] running clock really quickly, so that’s given us even more field time to gain some more experience.”

Stevens was real close — the Devils beat the Demons 20-3 in the previous meeting between the teams on April 8. But even though Glenwood finished with a winless 0-13 overall record (0-10 in Mountain League play), the fourth-year Demons coach is pleased with the progress he’s seeing from his players.

“We’re possessing the ball better, and the boys are out there coaching themselves and learning from their mistakes,” the coach said. “That’s a great thing to see.”

The Devils (3-12, 2-8), whose only league victories of the season came against the Demons, got more than half of their goals from senior team captain Johnny Bailey. The senior and Eagle Valley team captain outscored the Demons on his own, netting five of his seven goals in the first half to help the Devils take control of the game.

Sophomore Max Slack scored a pair of goals to pace the Demons’ scoring, and his first goal of the game helped the Demons stay in it through the end of the first quarter. And at the beginning of the game, Glenwood managed to do something that it had rarely done this season: it played with the lead.

That came at an unexpected time, too. After a Glenwood player was sent to the sideline on a 1-minute slashing penalty, the Demons took possession and moved the ball up to freshman Matt Heim. He took the shot from the right side and bounced it into the net past Eagle Valley goalie Joe Sheldon, giving Glenwood a 1-0 lead off a short-handed opportunity just a few minutes into the game. It sent the Demons’ bench into a cheering frenzy.

That, however, is when Bailey started his goal-scoring spree. He tied the game just minutes later on a goal from the left side of the net, then put the Devils ahead when the Demons were again a player down after a penalty. Slack scored the first of his two goals with 2 minutes remaining in the quarter to knot the score at 2-2, but Bailey scored his third goal just 1 1/2 minutes later to put the Devils ahead, 3-2, at the end of the quarter.

That turned out to be the first of seven unanswered goals by Eagle Valley, which went up 7-2 at halftime and 9-2 buy the time Slack scored his second goal at the end of the third quarter to stop the Devils’ scoring run.

Shane Beckley capped Glenwood’s scoring with a goal in the final 4 minutes of the game, bringing Glenwood’s final deficit to within eight goals. And even though Glenwood’s final game of the season showed Stevens a lot of progress has been made, he knows the next step his returning players have to take to get better next year.

“They’ve got to keep playing,” the coach said. “They’ve just got to keep playing during the summer and beyond that. They can’t expect to make a lot of progress by only playing lacrosse eight weeks a year.”

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