CSU women’s lacrosse poised for the history books after RWLL title

Senior midfielder Hayley Bernstein readies a shot Saturday at the CSU women's lacrosse play day. The team went 2-1 over the weekend and split two games against NCAA Division-II competition.

Freddy v Jason, Buzz Lightyear v Emperor Zurg, Manning v Brady. All of these nemeses pale in comparison to the CSU women’s lacrosse team’s victorious weekend against their two biggest rivals.

The Rams handled CU-Boulder, 21-9 in the first game of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse League tournament Friday. The impressively lopsided victory is much more typical of the team than last week’s 10-9 squeaker.

“Our attitudes won it for us,” CSU coach Lindsey Hudek said. “Our heads were in the right place and the girls were ready to play.”

That momentum propelled them into Saturday’s game with No. 2 rival, Brigham Young, but it would take more than Friday’s 12-point victory for the Rams to take down the Cougars.

The first time the two teams faced off, the Rams came away with a 15-8 win, leaving BYU hungry for vengeance.

“Even when we were down we stayed composed and had each others backs,” senior captain Sarah Langlie said. “I’m so proud of my defense and how we were so consistent this entire weekend. Our freshman goalie, Kenzie Baer also totally stepped it up and played phenomenal this weekend. I’m so proud of her.”

On Saturday, the Rams were able to stave off a fierce Cougar offense in a 9-6 win. Up until the last 10 minutes of the game, the game resembled a ping-pong match.

Each team traded off goals one-by-one until senior midfielder, Hayley Bernstein set off a 3-0 run to clinch the game for the Rams.

“Every time we see CSU the game is very intense,” BYU assistant coach Chris Olinick said. “They are a very aggressive team and they play till the end.”

Though Hudek was well aware of the game’s fervor, she was more at ease during this game than would be expected.

“I was a little nervous sometimes,” she says. “But I knew the girls were doing the right things to help us. BYU is probably our biggest rival, so we love having this win.”

From there, the Rams had a clear shot for the trophy and were named league champions. Senior captain Maddie Garcia, who contributed two of the final four goals, never doubted her team.

“I never felt like we were losing control of the game, I could tell we were more fired up then BYU,” she says. “It was obvious that we were the team with the most heart and drive to win. Losing was never an option.”

With their 19th straight win, the Rams also clinched their berth to the national tournament in Colorado Springs, where they will attempt to win a fourth title.

The pressure is on, but it is something every girl on the team has grown accustomed to. The women’s lacrosse club at CSU has been known for its prestige since the beginning.

With consecutive top-10 finishes, three national titles and consistent RWLL championships, there isn’t much left to accomplish. Except a perfect record and trophy in tow.

“If we go on to win the national title, we will finish with a record of 22-0,” Garcia said. “No other team other than Cal Poly has ever gone undefeated and won a WCLA National championship. We are ready to make history.”

Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at sports@collegian.com.