GOLDEN - Coach Kurt Olhen wasn’t going to make it easy on his guys.
The Golden lacrosse head coach is on a mission to turn a program that won six games in each of the last two seasons into a playoff team this season.
But instead of Olhen trying to schedule a bunch of 3A and struggling 4A programs that his team could beat up on, he instead scheduled a heavy dose of high quality non-league opponents including Dakota Ridge, Air Academy and Valor Christian, so his team will be ready for the start of Foothills Lacrosse league play.
Valor Christian beat Golden 14-3 Friday at Trailblazer Stadium. And while the scoreboard read that the Demons were beaten handily, Olhen sees his team getting better.
“Our record and early season play doesn’t say that we have gotten better but I assure you we have. Our guys have continued to work hard and it’s just a matter of time before we find our identity and start winning games,” Olhen said.
Golden is 0-4 on the young season but have shown glimpses of greatness. On March 8 they fell 7-6 to Windsor in a game that they nearly won late.
And against Valor after being shut out the first half of the game the Demons went on to score three second half goals.
“We are close,” Golden senior Harrison Pierce said. “You could see us improving we just need to start winning games. But you can see every day that we are getting better.”
Although Pierce is a veteran player for the Demons, last season’s team graduated 19 players. But perhaps Golden’s youth movement is just what they needed.
“We lost a lot from last year but this group we have now is young and talented. We think these guys are going to grow into a pretty formidable unit but it is going to take some time,” Olhen said.
One of those young guys is freshman goalie Tanner McAdoo. McAdoo looks like an offensive lineman playing goalie and the Demons hope to ride that horse to the playoffs.
“He is young and big. But he is going to be a very good goalie. But the only expectations I put on these guys is to come out here and work as hard as they can every day,” Miller said. “Still, as a coach and as a program I want to get back into the playoffs.”
Golden will host Bishop-Machebeuf Saturday at 10 a.m.