And that’s a ... nonwinner

DHS girls lacrosse picks up a rusty loss in season opener

The small crowd smattering the Durango High School stadium benches erupted when Angela Grogan slung the yellow ball into the back of the net with less than 2 seconds remaining.

With the goal scored off a nifty pass from Alyssa Montoya, the scoreboard read: DHS girls lacrosse 11, Fruita Monument 11.

The scoreboard, however, was wrong.

The Wildcats beat the Demons 12-11 on Friday in the Demons’ season opener.

Then, the small crowd of Wildcats gathered on the field erupted instead.

It was a rusty first outing for the Demons after their first three scheduled games were cancelled because of bad weather on the Front Range.

Ready or not ... mostly not.

“We weren’t ready,” DHS head coach Jenni Darlow said. “We weren’t prepared for that game, and as coach, that’s my responsibility.”

The snow shares a good portion of the blame.

The Demons didn’t get a chance to practice on a full field before their Mountain League matchup Friday, and that led to plenty of transition-game issues, which Fruita Monument abused for many of its goals.

The Demons trailed 12-7 when Lauren Sullivan scored her third consecutive second-half goal with 4 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in play.

Durango’s Tymbree Hawkins answered about a minute later with two goals 15 seconds apart – the first from a beautiful over-the-back-of-the-net pass from Hannah Quick and the second an unassisted quick dash right into the crease.

“I just want to do good and stand out,” said Hawkins, who hustled the midfield along with Sara Martin for the full 50 minutes Friday. “Because my team needs me for my endurance.”

Hawkins, daughter of Denise and Ty Hawkins, finished with two goals alongside Grogan and Haley Dallas.

Quick tallied a hat trick when the Demons pulled within two on her dropped pass. From the goal crease, the ball dribbled in despite Fruita Monument goalkeeper Courtney Petek’s sprawling effort with 1:24 to go.

Then Grogan scored the crowd-pleasing but misleading nongame-winner.

“There were moments when we played beautiful lacrosse,” Darlow said.

The prettiest of those was another over-the-net pass from Montoya, this one to Martin in the first half. Martin simultaneously caught and shot from way up high with what must be the closest cousin to a hockey one-timer possible in lacrosse.

That closed the margin to one goal at 3-2 with 7 minutes to go before halftime, after the Demons scored first more than five minutes into the game, and the Wildcats didn’t answer for six minutes.

The Demons trailed 5-4 at intermission.

Montoya finished with four assists and a goal.

“Alyssa did what I expected her to do,” Darlow said. “I want to see more from her. I want to see more aggression from her.”

Unfortunately, Darlow said, there were more not-so-beautiful moments than beautiful moments – namely transitioning to defense and allowing open shots.

Durango keeper McKenna Rigdon did her best to make up for it.

“I thought she did really well when she had the opportunity to do well,” Darlow said. “Far too often, she didn’t have a chance to make the save.”

Rigdon, a senior transfer from St. Louis, saved seven shots in her first outing in goal in three years.

“I did a lot better than I thought I was going to. I thought I was going to do terrible,” said Rigdon, daughter of Katrina Farris. “I’m taking this as seriously as I can. I’m not messing around.”

“For being so new, she did so good,” Hawkins said. “I’m so proud of her.”

jsojourner@durangoherald.com