At this point in the 2013 season, the CSU men’s lacrosse team was undefeated as well as the No.1 team in the MCLA. Within a matter of 365 days, the tables have turned on the Rams, who have three games left on the regular season schedule and a 8-3 record.
The Rams lost their entire starting line-up at the start of the season and have been forced to rely on senior goalies to keep them in several matches. With struggles this season to keep key players in the line-up due to injury, CSU will depend on goalies as well as its fundamentals heading into two conference matches.
“I think there is a lot of pressure on (goalies) Jack (Regan) and Koltin (Fatzinger),” midfielder Alex Creech said. “We look to them a lot as leaders on the field so they will be crucial in this weekend’s conference match-up.”
CSU is ahead of Utah (4-8) in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference, standing in the fourth spot with four weeks before nationals.
To win against Utah, the Rams will need to come out strong in the game’s first minutes and contain the Utes defense. CSU has struggled on defense, but has been able to make up for its mistakes with its ability to shoot smart and relieve some of the pressure on its goalies.
“Defensively, we have been working on slides and working opponents as a team and not individually,” Creech said. “As offense goes, we need to continue to take shots and work well in key opportunities.”
With the national championships just around the corner, this weekend will be a test of what this rebuilding team can accomplish.
“We have been stressing all season to come out strong and play at our best through all four quarters,” head coach Alex Smith said. “This is a huge weekend for us and even though Utah is down, we are not going to worry about taking it lightly. Anything can happen.”
The Rams will take on Utah Friday April 11 at 5p.m. on the Intramural Fields and play Westminster Saturday April 12 at 2:30p.m. This weekend holds the last home games for CSU before it players CU-Boulder at Mile High Stadium April 19th.
“I think we are ready for the weekend,” Smith said. “We know it is going to be a challenge with Westminster, but we would love to see people on the sidelines this weekend. Saturday is our senior night so I feel like students can relate to that feeling of your last home game.”
Collegian Assistant Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.
BREAKOUT: Weekend conference matchups for CSU lacrosse (8-3, 0-1)
Friday vs. Utah (4-8, 0-1) 5 p.m.
Saturday vs. Westminster (8-2, 1-1) 2 p.m.
CSU IM fields