DENVER (10/16/10) – The Colorado Buffaloes men’s lacrosse team lost two hard fought scrimmages on Saturday evening to the NCAA Denver Pioneers and MCLA rival Brigham Young Cougars at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
CU lost 10-4 to BYU and 9-1 to DU but the Buffs played the Cougars and the Pioneers close throughout both games.
“We played a lot of defense, but we played strong and it was a positive feeling leaving our first day of scrimmages,” said CU head coach Mike Ryder. “It was a fantastic learning experience for our team and I'm proud of the fearlessness they showed. I want to thank Denver head coach Bill Tierney and his staff for inviting us to this event. Giving these MCLA teams this opportunity is a huge step for the league and the growth of the game.”
The scrimmages were shortened games with teams playing two 25 minute halves and a running clock.
Colorado came out fast in the first game against BYU with them scoring the first two goals in the game. Midway through the first half CU began to play their second and third team players, giving all 60 guys the chance to play in the game.
With ten minutes left in regulation the game was tied at four, but the Cougars put back in the majority of their starters and would go on to score six more goals in the final minutes against the Buffs’ backups.
“It was a great opportunity for our new players to get some experience under their belt,” Ryder said. “Our starting midfield was out with some injuries so we were pleased with what we saw from our other midfielders. It was our first time playing another team this fall and it was a great chance for our new guys to get acclimated with the MCLA opponents that we will face.”
In the Denver game, Colorado played great defense in the first half against a Pioneers squad that finished last season ranked number nine in the country. CU held DU to just two goals in the first 20 minutes of play but the Pioneers would find the back of the net two more times in the final five minutes of the half.
“The reason why we played so much defense in the first half wasn’t because our offense was playing poorly, our offense had a few solid possessions, but we hit a few pipes and the DU goalies made some solid saves,” Ryder said. “Our defense struggled to clear the ball efficiently against DU and therefore gave them many more opportunities.”
In the second half, Denver’s talented offense showed with them scoring five goals in the period, but the Buffs didn’t give up and finally found the back of the net in the final minute.
Colorado will finish their fall season on Oct. 30 against Northern Colorado, Colorado State and Regis in the Pumpkin Shootout at the Manning School in Golden, Colo.
CU men's lacrosse website: http://www.culax.org/