The road to a fourth national championship for the CSU women’s lacrosse team began over the weekend with a 2-1 weekend in Denver where the Rams split a pair of games against NCAA teams.
CSU opened its season with a scrimmage against NCAA Division-II Colorado Mesa University. The Rams were up 6-0 at halftime and finished winning 12-3.
“Attack played very well and was great at moving the ball around,” senior midfielder Hayley Bernstein. “They were executing plays perfectly and we were able to control the game through our possession of the ball.”
The Rams continued their strong play in the second game against Air Force despite issues with the referees, winning 15-2.
“Air Force was a challenging game because although their overall skill level was below ours, their fitness level was very high,” senior attacker Maddie Garcia said. “We won the game by using smart plays instead of speed.”
Despite a relentless offensive attack by the Rams, the game was considered somewhat reckless, resulting in a couple of injury timeouts, but both girls who were hurt were able to go back in and play the rest of the game.
“We were not happy with the officiating for that game but we knew there was nothing we could do about it, so we just focused on playing state lacrosse,” senior defender Sarah Langlie said.
CSU closed out the day with a scrimmage against Regis University, another NCAA-Division II team, which it lost 16-15.
“It’s always a little bit of a rivalry game for us, because while they’re a Division II team, we have about the same level of talent as they do,” senior midfielder Sarah Moyer said. “We want to prove that just because we don’t get the kind of funding they do, we can still compete at a high level.”
It started snowing as play began and continued throughout the entirety of the game, which was tied at the half.
Regis scored with five seconds on the clock to take the lead and ultimately held on to win.
“Unfortunately we lost, but it was our best game of the day by far,” Langlie said. “With our zone defense we are able to shut down the other team’s attack and work together as a team to cause turnovers and get the ball back in our possession.”
The Rams take the field again next weekend at the Santa Barbara shootout, where they will play four games.
“We’re excited for Santa Barbara this year since we actually have a few games under our belt before we go, which doesn’t normally happen,” Moyer said. “I feel like we will be a lot more prepared than we have been in the past.”