2013 HS Girls Lacrosse – Grandview at Ralston Valley

Another first for me since moving to Colorado.  Lacrosse.  Lacrosse was just starting to pick up in Washington when I moved to Alaska, but mainly at the University of Washington, and more of a club sport than anything official.  High Schools had not adopted it as a WIAA sport yet, and in Alaska, ASAA chose flag football for high schools girls instead of a potential college sport like lacrosse.  But, on a Saturday morning in Arvada, the Ralston Valley Lady Mustangs were hosting the Grandview Lady Wolves (WHOA, De Ja Vu, Wolves and Mustangs and it was not Eagle River and Chugiak!).  I had no idea what to expect.  I had seen a pro lacrosse game on tv, and saw how big the field was, and saw highlights from college and high school games and was figuring I would not be able to be too close to the field, but it was a sport I had been dying to try shooting, and since Ralston Valley is a school I would love to photograph for as their official photographer, it was a no brainer for me.

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves sophomore Katie Sengenberger (5) makes a pass near the Ralston Valley Mustang's goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves sophomore Katie Sengenberger (5) makes a pass near the Ralston Valley Mustang’s goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

I got up to Ralston Valley High School, not knowing where the LAX field was.  I had a good idea, but with a track, softball field, baseball field, soccer field, tennis courts, and a utility/football field, I really had no idea where to go.  I saw some firemen doing group training on the track/football field, so I assumed this was not where I needed to be, and I knew the softball field was not going to be converted for LAX, but there is a field between the softball and baseball fields next to the tennis courts and I assumed this would be it.  But when I noticed no one walking that way I decided to drive to the upper back parking lot and I was glad I did.  The game was taking place on a field behind the baseball field that I was not sure was ever used.

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves senior Taylor Arnold (10) receives a pass in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves senior Taylor Arnold (10) receives a pass in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

There was a big net behind the goal on the school side of the field, and a large wall separating the field from the road and train tracks behind the school.  On the baseball field side, there was a hill where most of the parents were sitting on lawn chairs or standing around, and on the opposite side of the field was where the teams and scorekeeper were set up at.  I could see the school trainer, who I have gotten to know a little bit through basketball and hockey season, and decided that would be a good place to start trying to figure out what I was getting myself in to, so I walked over to where the Ralston Valley team bench was.

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves senior Taylor Arnold (10) attempts to carry the ball past the defense by Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Olivia Sandoval(28) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves senior Taylor Arnold (10) attempts to carry the ball past the defense by Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Olivia Sandoval(28) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

Like any sport with balls being thrown around, you need to keep yourself aware of your surroundings.  A lot of LAX balls being tossed around and I took one to the ankle, but it had rolled in the grass for about 10 yards, so it lost most of it’s momentum.  I started chatting with Lindsey, the RV trainer, and watching the girls warm up, trying to get a sense of what was going on.

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves junior Alexis Petrarca (8) runs past the Ralston Valley Mustang defense with the ball in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Grandview Wolves junior Alexis Petrarca (8) runs past the Ralston Valley Mustang defense with the ball in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

I knew in a way, lacrosse was kind of a cross between soccer and hockey, but quickly learned there is a little football, and basketball in it too.  I learned quickly about the multiple offsides zones, but I am still struggling on the inner and outer boxes around the goal.  I would assume these are similar to the two boxes in soccer, but not entirely sure.

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior Bella Battistelli (23) looks to pass the ball after collecting it in the corner of the field in the game against the Grandview Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior Bella Battistelli (23) looks to pass the ball after collecting it in the corner of the field in the game against the Grandview Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

I could not have asked for better weather either.  The sun was out, there was a little bit of a cool wind, but it was just lovely out, and with a 10am start, the sun was not too harsh.

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior Jenny Adams (33) attempts to make a move with the ball past the defense by Grandview Wolves sophomore Katie Sengenberger (5) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs senior Jenny Adams (33) attempts to make a move with the ball past the defense by Grandview Wolves sophomore Katie Sengenberger (5) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

It is a quick sport to shoot, and it can be difficult to follow the ball through the viewfinder.  My goal was to get nice close ups of the girls tossing the ball and catching the ball, but some of the cuts, and collisions were pretty nice to capture too.

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Olivia Sandoval (28) launches a shot at the Grandview Wolves goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Olivia Sandoval (28) launches a shot at the Grandview Wolves goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

Ralston Valley went up on Grandview early and took a 7-1 lead in the first half .  I know LAX games can be very high scoring, and the way the coaches were talking at halftime, I figured that even with a 6 goal lead, they were not confident that 6 goals was going to be enough.  I was starting to fall into a rhythm shooting, and was feeling pretty good about this sport that I had never shot before.

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Carly Lichty (29) drives into the zone to attack the Grandview Wolves goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Carly Lichty (29) drives into the zone to attack the Grandview Wolves goal in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

In the second half things went well for my shooting, and for the home team Mustangs.  I captured some good second half images, and the Mustangs out scored the visiting Wolves held Grandview to 3 goals and tacked on 8 more goals to win the game 15 to 4.

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Maddie Stanley (7) runs the ball up field past the defense by Grandview Wolves senior Serena Johnson (16) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

April 27th, 2013: Ralston Valley Mustangs junior Maddie Stanley (7) runs the ball up field past the defense by Grandview Wolves senior Serena Johnson (16) in the game at Ralston Valley High School on Saturday morning in Arvada, Colorado

I do not know if I will get a chance to shoot another LAX game this season.  Not every school has LAX, like hockey, but if I get a chance to hit RV for another game, I will.  To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit MaxPreps.

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