Glenwood falls to Durango despite late comeback
Hosting the Durango Demons Friday afternoon at Stubler Memorial Field in Glenwood, the Glenwood Springs Demons lacrosse team put on a lackluster performance for much of the game before putting on a furious rally. The Demons pulled to within three goals, but the effort would be too little, too late in a 10-7 loss on home turf.
“Our goalie (Joe Liotta) once again had one heck of a game,” Glenwood Head Coach Jay French said. “He kept it a close one for us. We still need to iron out our defensive slides and keep from forcing the ball on offense. But the comeback we had in the fourth quarter really proves the potential of this team. We need to move forward, building off of the energy that we showed in the fourth quarter.”
Glenwood would take a 1-0 lead midway through the first quarter as the Demons maintained possession for much of the first quarter, but just one goal would be all they’d get as senior attacker Ben Liotta was able to beat Durango goalie Dylan Gaver at the 5:44 mark as Liotta took a feed from behind the net from junior attacker Zach Johnson before firing the ball past Gaver for the opening goal of the game.
Following the first goal of the game for Glenwood, the Demon defense stood tall as senior defender Reed Featherstone, senior Nick Minor and freshman Kelton MacPherson kept the Durango attack at bay. But at the 2:03 mark of the first quarter, Durango was able to break through with a goal as junior attacker Tommy Rodgers was able to beat Glenwood senior goalie Joe Liotta on the man advantage after a cross-checking penalty from junior Andrew Kollar.
Just over 30 seconds later, Durango would take a 2-1 lead as sophomore attacker Cullen Robinette was able to beat Joe Liotta just over his shoulder after cutting into the middle of the attacking box to receive a feed for the shot from in close.
Trailing Durango 2-1 after one quarter of play, Glenwood looked to regroup in the second quarter, but Cullen Robinette would stretch the Durango lead to 3-1 after receiving a two-man advantage due to penalties to Glenwood senior midfielder Sam Liotta and MacPherson on the same play.
Durango senior attacker Kyle Robinette would then join his younger brother on the score sheet by beating Joe Liotta low inside the right post to make it 4-1 Durango. The goal came at the end of a great run by Kyle Robinette, who raced into the box, pulled a spin move on a flat-footed Glenwood defender and got a great shot off in the box to stretch Durango’s lead.
With the Robinette brothers filling up the net, Durango continued to push the pace against Glenwood as four different shots from the Demons rang off the post behind Joe Liotta late in the second quarter. Rodgers would solve the mystery of the pipes, though, by tickling the twine with just 5 seconds left in the half to give Durango a 5-1 lead heading into halftime and giving Glenwood a chance to fix some defensive issues.
Unfortunately for Glenwood, the Demons would come out flat again in the third quarter as Durango received two goals from Cullen Robinette and one goal each from Kyle Robinette and Rodgers to take a 9-1 lead into the fourth quarter. But in the final quarter of play, Glenwood was able to find its footing offensively, scoring six goals to put pressure on Durango late in the game.
Johnson would start the furious rally early in the fourth quarter by bouncing a shot past Gaver with the man advantage, giving Glenwood its first goal since the 5:44 mark of the first quarter.
Following Johnson’s goal, the Demons would catch fire as Ben Liotta would score his second goal of the game, this one by spinning past a Durango defender to get in front of the net, where he’d rifle a shot past Gaver to make it 9-3 with just over 10 minutes to go in the game.
Roughly four minutes later, Johnson would cap off a great run with a laser of a shot on the run, switching hands at the top of the attacking box before blowing the shot past Gaver to make it 9-4 Durango with nearly seven minutes left in the game.
One minute later, Glenwood senior attacker Shane Beckley would get onto the score sheet, picking up a ground ball in the attacking box before bouncing a shot past Gaver to make it 9-5, igniting the Glenwood bench as the comeback attempt was in full force.
Durango would answer a few minutes later as Cullen Robinette scored his fourth goal of the game to stretch the Demon lead to 10-5, but Glenwood wouldn’t go away. Johnson found the back of the net on a terrific, spinning, falling shot from the left wing, beating Gaver just inside the left post to make it 10-6.
Just 12 seconds after Johnson’s goal, Beckely would find the back of the net again, beating Gaver on another bouncing shot to make it 10-7 with just over two minutes left in the game.
“We finally started playing the smart, emotionally-charged game that we have been practicing and wanting to see from the boys,” French said.
But that would be it for Glenwood’s comeback attempt as Durango held the ball in the attacking box for the rest of the game, holding off Glenwood in an intense, physical matchup between the two teams.
In the loss, Johnson finished with two goals and one assist, while Ben Liotta and Beckley added two goals each.
Glenwood now sits at 1-3, 0-3 4A Mountain League on the year. The Demons will have off until March 28 when they travel to Vail Mountain for a rematch with the Gore Rangers at 4 p.m.
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