It was a make or break weekend for CSU men’s lacrosse with three games left in the season and still one spot out of the postseason. However, the rankings will not affect the Rams because they picked up a pair of weekend wins that are going to give them a jump with one game remaining on the regular season schedule.
“This weekend was hands down the best our team has ever played,” senior Koltin Fatzinger said. “We played all phases of the game fantastically and I could not have asked for a better senior day.”
On senior night, CSU finished the weekend 2-0 improving its record to 10-3 with the wins over Utah (17-4) and Westminster (12-6).
“I thought this was one of our best efforts of the year,” head coach Alex Smith said. “Just top to bottom we have been searching for a 60-minute game, and I think we hit it pretty close (Saturday). I have a lot of respect for them and for us to perform the way we did. I think that shows a lot about us.”
Unlike last season’s picture perfect finish to the MCLA national title, CSU has struggled this season to get strong shots off, build a strong defense and the support senior goalies Jack Regan and Fatzinger. That changed this weekend.
The Rams were the first to score in both matches and did not trail once. With those extra defensive drills in practice last week, there is no time like the present to have the momentum going towards this team.
“This game and this weekend is a big step forward for us and we are hitting our stride at the right time,” Fatzinger said.
CSU went into Friday’s game knowing Utah has struggled this season with injury, which the Rams took advantage of. Friday’s matchup was a way to set the momentum and prepare for the toughest game Saturday.
Utah continuously pressured the defense, but struggled to get a good angled shot from the outside. With every passing minute, CSU continued to play with the fundamentals and shut down the Utes offense with several blocked shots, missed attempts and overall inability to get close enough to shoot.
“They (Westminster) were definitely a good team all around and exactly what we expected from them,” Fatzinger said. “They played a pretty tough game last night so they might have been tired but hat off to them, they played a great game.”
While the Rams proved to be the dominant team this weekend, there is room for improvement on turn overs and transitions. Smith has stated this teams biggest weakness by far is turnovers. With playoffs just around the corner, one turnover can prove to end the game.
Up next, CSU will travel to Denver where it will take on CU–Boulder at Sports Authority Field. The game is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.
“These wins kind of put us where we want to be,” Smith said. “Obviously we want to be CU (Boulder) because they are CU but certainly there are big implications for that. I think the game is really going to be an emotional one I think it is going to be one of the best games of the year and we are going to have to do our best.”
For more information on purchasing tickets to the game visit http://csulacrosse.com/.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.