Fort Lewis have won five straight games since they began play against Colorado opponents, including 3 wins in the past week. Starting with a 14-6 victory over Regis in Denver on Sunday 4/7, the Skyhawk offense picked up steam and confidence cruising to a 20-7 win over rival Western State in Gunnison on Saturday 4/3, and capped off the weekend with a decisive 16-1 win over CSU-Pueblo. This streak secures Fort Lewis firmly into the #2 seed in the RMLC DII Western Division for the conference playoffs May 3-5 in Grand Junction. The Fort will host two potential playoff opponents when Northern Colorado and Metro State come to Durango for games on Saturday 4/20 and Sunday 4/21 respectively. Both games will be held on the Fort Lewis campus, in what should be hard fought contests for RMLC bragging rights.
Against Regis, the Skyhawks played a complete team game, jumping out to an 8-0 lead at halftime. Unfortunately, someone spoiled the “perfect game” at halftime by mentioning it, and the second half saw Regis answer goal for goal thanks to some excellent ball movement. The 14-6 final score was the result of a balanced scoring effort from the Fort, with 8 different players contributing points, including spectacular assists from defenders Tim Topper and TJ Trump. Sophomore attackman Alex Sowers led all Skyhawk scorers with 3 goals and 4 assists, and received the game ball for his efforts. The game felt like a home game, as many family members and friends turned out to support the Skyhawks, many of whom are from the front range. Thanks for the wonderful team meals and home comforts provided by the Chase and Arthurs families!
The Fort Lewis rivalry with Western State goes back far beyond the days when the Fort and Western even had lacrosse teams. On a windy afternoon, in the Mountaineers beautiful stadium, the Skyhawks put together what was easily their best performance of the season. Right from the opening whistle, the Fort Lax offense was firing on all cylinders and exploded for 7 goals in the first quarter while holding Western scoreless. Every time the Mountaineers tried to answer, the Skyhawks responded with big plays from all positions on the field. Senior Adam Skinner did his part for Western with three of the most impressive shots Fort goalie Chris Sowder faced all season, rockets from around 20 yards out. It wasn’t enough for Western though, as Fort Lewis got points from 8 players again, this time led by Max Segal’s 5 goals and 5 assists, including some of his own spectacular shots and passes. The Skyhawks also got big days from Alex Sowers 6G, 3A, and Grant Arthurs 2G, 5A, and goalie Chris Sowder 16 saves, 70% save percentage, who got the game ball for some amazing saves that took away any chance of a Mountaineer comeback. In the annual battle of the mountain schools Fort Lewis won again, but thanks to Western for hosting us and playing a great game, you are truly a quality group of guys.
CSU-Pueblo managed to make it to Durango for a Sunday afternoon game with only 11 players. “Iron Man” lacrosse is a reality for some teams in the MCLA, and the Thunder Wolves showed a lot of pride and earned the respect of their Skyhawk peers by making the trip. CSU-Pueblo was overmatched, and the Fort’s continued offensive confidence didn’t help their situation. Grant Arthurs scored the first four goals for the Fort, and had 6G, 2A, and 15 ground balls on the day. The defensive effort was led by Shaun Koenig who turned 8 forced turnovers into 10 ground balls and multiple fast break opportunities. This game provided a chance for many of the Skyhawks newer players to show what they can do, and they responded with great results, including freshman Greg Tennant’s first career goal (which he had to earn a second time thanks to Coach robbing him of another goal with a poorly timed timeout), and he received the game ball for his efforts. The Fort finished up 3-0 at Santa Rita Park, thanks to all of the fans who came out to support us!