Telluride boys lacrosse traveled to Montrose High School Tuesday undefeated (7-0) as one of the best teams in the 4A/5A Mountain Lacrosse League.
Montrose came in 1-5, but if previous games were any indication, that record could be drastically different.
It’s why Montrose kept pace with Telluride through three quarters, the score tied 5-5. The Miners, being the uber talented team that they are, eventually capitalized on some of the Indians’ mistakes with four unanswered scores in the fourth quarter before winning the game 10-7.
Entering the fourth quarter, though, Montrose was on pace to be the first team to hold Telluride to less than 10 scores, with a real shot at handing them their first loss.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how well our defense played,” Montrose coach Keith Obsheatz said, “and Colten Brueggeman had an amazing game. He stood on his head and did everything to keep that score as low as possible.
“On the offensive end, we’re one to two passes away of catching and throwing and being over the hump. We’re on the peak of the hill. Instead of falling back down it, we need to get over it.”
Montrose was patient in the attack area in the second period, and it paid off with two minutes left, as Dylan Prescott rolled the ball in to tie the game 2-2.
Telluride scored three times in the third quarter, but a pair of scores from Isaac Locato, and one from Luke Barney, helped knot the score.
The Miners could have had more goals, since they were continuously peppering Indians goalkeeper Brueggeman with shots on goal. But Brueggeman was elite Tuesday, turning in a phenomenal performance, accumulating double-digit saves.
He captained a Montrose defense that’s been much better as of late — outside of a 14 goal performance from Fruita on June 1, the Indians have allowed 26 goals in three of their past four games (12 quarters). They allowed 37 through the first three games.
There’s a reason for the improvement. During practice, Montrose started doing a Y-drill (a 4v4 set with two players up top, a player in the crease and a player behind), a defensive drill for hot slides and two slides.
“That helped us focus on where we need to be positionally and defensively within the game,” Obsheatz said.
That translated on the field Tuesday, but errant passes and clears helped the Miners in the fourth, as some of those went right to some of Telluride’s players, leading to breakaway scores.
“They’d bring people over, and their attack was just that quicker than our deep holes to where they’d just burn us and go for the open goal,” senior Noah Lambert said.
“There were a couple times here and there where we just got slowed down and we were in our heads too much. But throughout the whole game, we played pretty good.”
Lovato added another score in the fourth with 10 minutes left, tying the game 6-6. Time of possession was largely in the Miners’ favor late, somewhat stalling Montrose’s offense.
The three goal-loss was the Indians’ fourth such game this season. It follows a trend Montrose had in 2019, where they lost five games in similar fashion.
“Except for two games, we’ve lost every game by three to four goals, which, in lacrosse, is nothing,” Obsheatz said. “And we’ve been in every game. Our kids realizing that and taking the next step is what will get us over the hump.”
The same was similar Thursday against Glenwood Springs, which moved to 5-4. The Demons won 13-9.
Since May 13, Montrose has scored seven or more goals, showing consistency on the offensive end after a five-goal performance to start the season.
Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press