The Demons started fast - very fast.
But then Lightning struck.
The Durango High School girls lacrosse team, playing its second home game before a small but loyal band of fans and parents, bolted to a 1-0 lead against the Grand Valley Lightning on Saturday morning at DHS Stadium.
Hanna Rossi, on the Demons' first attacking possession, bounced home Durango's first shot of the contest as DHS momentarily stunned the visiting Lightning.
Santana Martinez of the Grand Valley team, a conglomerate of players from Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Grand Junction Central high schools, tied the game 10 minutes later with a wide-open shot from in front of the DHS cage.
After the Lightning went ahead 2-1 on a goal from Brianna True, the upstart Demons tied the contest on a well-executed shot by Flor Chacon midway through the first half.
That's when Lightning rained out of the cloudless sky as the visitors from the Grand Valley tacked on two more first-half goals before scoring seven times in the second half en route to an 11-2 victory over the Demons.
With a smothering defense that took advantage of a tiring and shorthanded DHS squad, the Lightning improved to 5-0 in its first season of interscholastic girls lacrosse.
True scored three times in the second half for the Lightning. The visitors also had second-half goals from Jenn Piburn, Amy Flukey, Morgan Jueschke and Mikayla Clark.
Whistled for several penalties, the Demons were forced to play much of the second half one player down.
Still, the DHS girls battled and battled in an effort to get back in the game. They offered attacks from Sam Taylor, Mollie Bennet, Chacon and Siena Gumbiner, among others.
But Grand Valley goalie Stephanie Long stopped any DHS shots that got past the Lightning defense.
"Our morale got a little lower there at the end, but they're still giving everything they have," DHS assistant coach Elise Zimmerman said.
"To see that (effort), is awesome," Zimmerman said.
"For us, it's a matter of getting them in more game situations," she said of the first-year girls lacrosse program at DHS.
In practice, she said, the Demons are working on the basics while they learn what is a brand new sport for most of the players.
While this is the first season for the Lightning high school team, the Grand Valley girls played a full club season last year when they picked up valuable experience.
"We were a club team last year," Grand Valley coach Robin Stevens said. "About half of our girls are new this year."
The players returning with experience have helped the new players learn the game and the intricate strategies of girls lacrosse, she said.
"Really, it's a matter of the fundamentals, learning to have control on the field," Stevens said.
"We have to be very disciplined and controlled to do well," she said.
Plus, Stevens said, the Grand Valley coaches make the Lightning players run and run and run in practice.
"People don't realize how much running is involved in lacrosse. We do lots and lots of running at practice," she said.
The Demons, 0-5, also will continue to work on their fundamentals and their conditioning, Zimmerman said.
They will have more than a week to prepare for their next home game April 3 against Glenwood Springs.