CSU lacrosse set for improved 2017 campaign

With a roster consisting of mostly upperclassmen, Colorado State men’s lacrosse has it’s sights set high for 2017.

Entering his second year as head coach, Ted Fifield says that because the team holds so much experienced (15 seniors), he is expecting an improvement upon the 10-5 campaign in 2016. With a competitive schedule on deck and top-ranked players, CSU men’s Lacrosse is hungry for wins and a chance to compete in the Final Four.

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Several players are looking to step into more impactful roles for the team this year, on both the defensive and offensive sides.

Sophomore defender Nick Pfeiffer and long-stick midfielder Perry Schwinger are two defensive players Fifield expects to make a big contribution to the team’s defensive line.

Colorado State finished the 2015-16 season with the fifth ranked defense in the MCLA division and return all but one defensive starter for the 2017 season. An experienced back line will be vital to the team’s success, considering that Fifield’s main strategy last season was building a strong defensive team.

On the offensive side, senior attacker AJ Stewart, as well as Dom Santor, a transfer sophomore attacker from the University of Ohio, are also high on Fifield’s list of players that he is expecting big things from this season.

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A.J. Stewart (24), attacks the net during CSU's 12-11 win over BYU Saturday. (Photo Courtesy: Roman Creech/ CSU Lacrosse)

With one of the biggest senior and junior classes the team has had in a while, Fifield is excited about the level of experience the team has with playing at the MCLA level and foresees CSU competing to a win the RMLC championship, something the Rams haven’t done in over 10 years, last winning in 2006.

Fifield says this team has the best defenses in the country, and with such a mature team and many players that have improved over the off season months, he is optimistic.

“We have a lot of big games on our schedule this year, we purposely built a schedule this season that we think is probably the toughest schedule in the MCLA,” Fifield said. “Some of our biggest games that were looking at are our games against CU which is the last game of the regular scheduled season, and all four of the teams that were in the final four last year.”

These final four teams on schedule for CSU include reigning national champion Chapman University, Cal Poly, Georgia Tech and Grand Canyon University.

This will be Fifield’s second year as head coach at CSU, where he has already made a positive impact within the program. The season before Fifield was announced as head coach, the team hit a rough patch with a 9-8 season. In just one year, he turned the team into a top ranked defensive team with a 10-5 season, and has the team being a force to be reckoned with once again.

The Rams will face off against Dominican on Feb. 19 in Loveland, Colorado for their first game of the season.

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Collegian sports reporter Brooke Dowell can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @brookedowell