CSU women’s lacrosse one win away from national championship game

The CSU women's lacrosse team practices on the West Lawn wednesday afternoon. The Rams will play in the Mile High Invitational this weekend in Boulder.

It’s time for Friday afternoon fever. The CSU women’s lacrosse team will is set to take on Cal Poly at 3:30 p.m. for the semifinals of the WCLA championships.

The Rams advanced there after beating the No. 8 Pittsburgh Panthers 16-11 on Thursday afternoon. The Rams started off with a 2-0 lead before allowing Pittsburgh to score four straight.

But after a Karly Slyne assist to Sarah Moyer, with CSU tied, Moyer scored again, putting the Rams in the lead, where would stay for the remainder of the game.

“They were an underrated team,” senior captain Maddie Garcia said. “It was not an easy game to win, but we played state lacrosse the entire game, and I am feeling very confident in our game.”

This year is different as well, because instead of traveling out of state, the Rams have been able to enjoy somewhat of a home field advantage in Colorado Springs. Losing the hassle of airports and planes have allowed the team to stay calm and relaxed over the last few days.

Tomorrow’s opponent, Cal Poly, is one the Rams have already faced back in mid-February. CSU came out ahead in the game 14-7, which should add to their confidence.

Cal Poly has gone 12-1 since playing the Rams, so they will be coming into Friday’s game riding a hot streak.

If the Rams take the semifinal against the Mustangs, they will face either No. 10 UC Santa Barbara or No. 2 BYU for Saturday’s championship final. Those two teams will face off Friday afternoon as well.

Garcia had earlier expressed a desire to play rival Georgia for the final, but they were knocked out in an upset by UC Santa Barbara. But the next best thing would be BYU.

Their fierce rivalry throughout the season would climax nicely in the championship round. Especially since the Rams are two for two against the Bulldogs. But the Rams are trying not to think too far ahead.

“We try and go into every championship and not think about other seasons,” senior captain Sarah Langlie said. “But this feeling is definitely not like any other year I’ve been here.”

CSU has done a remarkable job keeping their heads and egos in check in this tournament. Entering as the No. 1 seed makes other teams want to beat you more, as well as inflating confidences.

“To be undefeated and so successful is fantastic but it also puts such a huge target on our back that we haven’t had before,” Langlie said. “Teams have always wanted to beat us, but now it is at a whole new level.

“I am confident though because we have all such great and positive attitudes and know what we have to do to win.”

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