CSU lacrosse set for high-octane matchups in first true home games of season

Senior midfielder Braxton Campell passes to a teammate during practice thursday afternoon. The mens lacrosse team is currently undefeated this season.
Senior midfielder Braxton Campell passes to a teammate during practice thursday afternoon. The mens lacrosse team is currently undefeated this season.

When the CSU lacrosse team takes to the IM fields on Friday night, home may actually start to feel like home.

Thirteen games into the season, the No. 1 Rams (12-0) will get the chance to play their first home game that is actually on CSU’s campus. Weather and other extenuating circumstances have forced the Rams to play their home games half an hour away at the Loveland Sports Park.

“We are looking forward to finally getting a crowd of our fans,” said senior attack Austin Fisher. “It’s definitely good to be finally home playing in front of the student body.”

The undefeated Rams will be hosting two games on campus this weekend. They will play today at 7:00 against No. 21 Georgia (11-1), and on Saturday at 4:00 against New Mexico (2-7).

The matchup against Georgia will likely be one of the most exciting games of the Rams season. The Bulldogs have a high-powered offense, led by the MLCA goal leader Trent Dean, who has44. They are entering Fort Collins riding a two-game win streak during which they put up an impressive 33 goals in victories against division rivals Alabama and Auburn.

“After we lost to Clemson, we shook things up a little bit and really rededicated ourselves to our process on offense,” Georgia senior Conner Reed said. “We quit playing such an individual, one-on-one type of game, which really paid off last weekend.”

The Rams, who have been the consensus top team for all 11 weeks of the season, are weary of becoming too comfortable in their position.

“It’s always a fear,” CSU senior midfielder Alex Devlin said. “But we have a really good work ethic on this team, and as long as we come every day and stay focused, we execute, so we shouldn’t be worried about this weekend.”

With just three games left in the regular season, the defending champion Rams will be challenged to remain focused on the goal ahead while getting the best efforts of their remaining opponents.

“This is a game we’ve looked forward to for a while,” Reed said. “Our style is a lot of intensity and a lot of energy for four quarters. Coming in playing the defending champion and number one team in the country, the adrenaline will be flowing, that’s for sure.”

The Georgia offense will meet their toughest challenge of the year in the persistent CSU defense. With over 10 years of experience on the collegiate level between the three of them, seniors Patrick Sullivan, Tyler Zabor, and Hayden Porter make up one of the most fearsome defensive lines in the country.

“We all pretty much started together for four years now, and we have built a synergy with a lot of other guys and the goalie, so we have a good chemistry working,” captain Patrick Sullivan said. “The strength of our defense is communication. We are all equal. I think that helps out a lot with taking on teams like this, because we don’t need to put a specific person on a specific guy.”

Club Sports Beat Reporter Tyrus Coder can be reached at sports@collegian.com.