New-look men’s lacrosse team has high hopes for 2018 season

Evan Grant

The Colorado State men’s club lacrosse team begins its 2018 campaign on Feb. 16 against the Utah Valley Wolverines. The team is coming off a 9-8 regular season in 2017 and has a very different look than in previous years.

Players hug after scoring
The Rams celebrate a goal against Metro State. The Rams beat the Roadrunners 18-6 in the first scrimmage of the season on Saturday, Feb. 3. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

With many new faces in freshmen and transfer players, the Rams will also have some of the returning players trying their talents in new positions on the field.

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“We’re a very different team than last year,” junior goalie Frank Culhane said. “We have almost an entirely new defense. We’re a very close team, we’re very optimistic, but we’re very unsure because the team is so different.”

CSU has nine seniors returning or coming into play this year. They will look to the leadership of these seniors to lead them through the season.

“This season means a lot to me as a senior, it is my fifth year with the team and I have seen this group grow, face adversity, bond, and work hard together on and off the field,” senior captain Peyton Trask said. “It has been a truly life-changing experience being part of this team in my eyes. As a part of a senior class who has been through a lot we are all excited for this season.”

The Rams have already had a few weeks of practice under their belt in which they ran live scrimmages to prepare for their upcoming games.

“Practices have been very good we got a lot of good scrimmages and that will help us in our upcoming games this weekend,” Culhane said.

Along with the weeks of practices, the Rams played an exhibition game against Colorado College. This game ended in a 11-9 loss for the Rams as their comeback effort fell short on the snowy afternoon in Colorado Springs.

“Sometimes in Colorado it just snows without warning,” head coach Ryan MacDonald said. “By the end of the game, there was four inches of snow on the ground. We dug ourselves a deep hole but we battled back and fell short. I was happy to see that we can compete with an NCAA DIII program in the snow.”

The Rams opened up play this season against Metro State University at the Loveland Sports Park. This game ended up a 17-6 Rams victory over the Roadrunners.

CSU has some familiar faces returning to the schedule this year, as well as some new ones such as the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

The Rams will finish the regular season against the University of Colorado at Kittredge Fields in Boulder for the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Saturday, April 21. Last year’s showdown ended in a 16-13 loss for the Rams.

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“We have a very strong culture and it’s coming together really well at practice. This season will be a reloading year, everything is coming together and I’m really impressed with the guys so far,” MacDonald said.

The Rams will be on the road for the next six games starting in Orem, Utah against the Utah Valley University Wolverines before returning to Fort Collins on March 18 when they will face off against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Collegian sports reporter Evan Grant can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @EGrantSports.