Wake up call not enough for Vipers


Posted Thu, Oct 14, 2010

DENVER–The Vipers lost to Swagger despite out scoring them five to four in the second half of Sunday’s game. Swagger won the game 9 to 5.

“We lost last year to them 18 to nothing,” said Dustin Harper, defensive player for the Vipers.

Harper sees this game as a much better improvement than to last year’s matchup.

The game was so intense that it almost started a fight in the second half. A player from Swagger had his helmet ripped off his head and he ran after the player that caused it. At that point in the game Swagger was up 7 to one.

“Really, you’re going to start a fight and you’re up 7 to 1,” said Byanka Carranza, an on looking fan.

The Vipers were out shot 19 to 5 in the first half and were losing the game 5 to nothing at halftime.

The second half was a completely different story than the first half. The Vipers came back out shooting Swagger 14 to 13 and out scoring Swagger 5 goals to 4.

In the second half of the game, it was also more physical which game the Vipers the edge in the second half. The fight seemed to add fuel to the fire that the Vipers had after their first goal.

“We kind of woke up in the second half,” Harper said. “Unfortunately we lost.”

Harper plays for the Vipers in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League.

“A lot of sports are similar to lacrosse, like a mixture of soccer, football, basketball, hockey, and a little bit of baseball just thrown into one sport,” Harper said about lacrosse.

Penalties are similar to hockey like: slashing, crosschecking, tripping, and others.

“The league I’m in, the games are 60 minutes with two 30-minute halves. Usually games are just like football four 15-minute quarters. Time is always running unless the ball goes out of bounds or when someone scores a goal. After each goal and quarter there’s always a face off in the middle of the field,” Harper said.

Harper, a former Metro State student, was asked if he had ever tried out for Metro’s Lacrosse team, he replied, “Yes I played for them my freshman year, but it just started to cost way too much to play.”

Harper started playing lacrosse his sophomore year of high school and has been playing competitively ever since for the past five years.

“Well, football wasn’t working out for me and my best friend, Garrett, introduced me to the game, (I) fell in love with it. We loved to go watch the (Colorado) Mammoth games,” Harper said.

He played three seasons in high school. He’s played one and half seasons in college and now he’s playing in a men’s league, adult league, it’s Harper’s first season in the adult league.

Harper, who played for Rangeview High School, recalled the best game he’d ever played in,

“It was junior year against Eaglecrest high school and we beat them 9-7 and the field was sloppy and wet, it was raining the whole time and there was a lot of hitting going on,” Harper said.

They only scored because the goalie fell down when we were trying to take the ball out and we scoped it up. That was the game that kept going back and forth and lots of hitting and pushing around, he said.

Harper said, momentum definitely shifts around a lot depending on how many goals a team can score in a row. Defensive play and offensive play and the games always move back and forth and players are always switching in and out of the box and getting substitutions in.

“The game play is always flowing and it’s hard to ever stop,” he said.

Harper said his senior year Rangeview, they almost made in to the playoffs and that he lettered in lacrosse, the only award he’s received while playing the game.

“No it’s easy to pick up, all you got to do is work on hand-eye coordination and once you’ve got that down, you can do anything in lacrosse,” Harper said, when asked about if lacrosse was hard to pick up and play.

He then went on during the interview explaining the differences between out of bounds.

“With men’s lacrosse, we have what you call a box which is goal line extended until it’s five yards from the sideline and then you have it going up about 20 yards to the first line. It’s kind of like a hockey rink where you have the two blue lines and the red line,” Harper said.

There is a box right there, a team’s got to keep possession in the box because there is a clock continuously running. There is 10 yards behind the net; there also is the backside of court, the backside of the out of bounds too, Harper said.

Defense, which is what Harper, plays for his team does sort of thing against the other team like today’s game against Swagger.

“It depends on if the refs are looking or not, like if there’s a big scuff for the ball, it’s easier to throw a few elbows in there, get people away from you. I got slashed and my arm is kind of swollen from it. But you get banged up,” Harper said about the violence and the bruises he gets while playing.

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