Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School girls lacrosse: offensive juggernaut?
That phrase may have seemed more like cruel mockery when Cassett Yeager was a freshman. The Sailors scored only 41 goals the entire year during 2014, her freshman season. They were shutout six times and held to four goals or fewer four more times.
Saturday, Yeager scored four goals herself, helping lead the way for an offensive avalanche the likes of which the Steamboat girls lacrosse program has never seen.
Steamboat scored the most goals it ever has, beating a solid Green Mountain squad 20-12.
For a player like Yeager, who played through the bad times and now the good, it felt like a big step.
“We worked so much better as a team than we ever have before,” Yeager said. “We had 12 girls out there who played as one. The team really played the game, and the team won.”
The bulk of Steamboat’s scoring came from the same places it has all season, sophomore Lucy Shimik and freshman Riley Schott. Each finished with eight goals, and each had stretches of Saturday’s game during which they seemed simply unstoppable.
“They were looking for each other. They were shooting accurately. They were being smart about where they were shooting. They were changing up levels,” Steamboat coach Betsy Frick said, considering her team. “They were on. It was fun to watch.”
After Schott cruised to one first-half goal, straight up the field and paced by a pair of defenders tasked with stopping her, another Green Mountain player looked over to her sideline in search of advice.
“She was already doubled,” she said.
“It never hurts to triple her,” a coach responded.
When Shimik and Schott did draw that kind of all-defense focus, Yeager came up with four goals, tying her career-best effort.
It hasn’t always been easy, she said, watching younger players soak up the stats in her senior season, but Saturday was a fine example of how it can all work together, a multi-player punch the program has simply never before had.
“It’s important I be an outlet for those two,” Yeager said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Those offensive fireworks combined with another solid game defensively. Ava Thiel had five saves in goal.
It all came together to bump the team to 9-3 on the season. Next up for the varsity squad is a game at 4 p.m. Thursday at home against Fruita Monument.
“This was huge for us,” Frick said. “This is the highest-ranked team we’ve ever beat.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9