BOULDER (3/27/11) – After a disappointing loss to the hands of Colorado State, the Arizona State Sun Devils responded with a 15-5 victory over the University of Colorado men’s lacrosse team on Sunday afternoon to complete their Rocky Mountain road trip.
The loss ends a four game winning streak for Colorado, dropping their record to 6-2 overall while Arizona State improves to 7-1 on the year.
ASU’s scoring leader Eric Nelson highlighted the Sun Devil’s outing with a five goal performance. Freshman attackman Jeff Petznick also had a good game as he finished with four goals.
Early in the contest, Colorado had the upper hand on ASU, maintaining ball control for the majority of the opening quarter while also netting the first goal of the game by the hands of scoring leader A.J. Blackburn. But the CU lead was short lived as the Sun Devils scored eight goals through the third quarter. Arizona State continued to hold the upper hand in nearly every category of the game through the final minutes, giving little opportunity to Colorado.
“Today was a very inconsistent day for us,” said Colorado head coach Mike Ryder. “We came out and played pretty well early on, but we didn’t find the back of the net as much as we wanted to. We really got out of our character on the defensive end. Usually we are a defensive strong team.”
Blackburn and sophomore Matt White both finished with two goals in the game while freshman Tyler Dougherty also found the back of the net for Colorado.
Defense was the key for both teams on the day. For Arizona State, it was goaltender Dylan Westfall who was there time and time again to deny the Buffaloes efforts, recording 13 saves on 18 shots. His defense meanwhile kept the Buffs’ shooters at bay, allowing very little opportunity in the middle of the field, forcing CU to take the majority of their shots from the perimeter of the ASU zone.
The Buffs defense however struggled to keep the Sun Devils off the ball, as they could not find an answer for the ASU shooters, whether it was in front of the crease or on the outside. Many of their goals were due to mismatches found working the ball around the Buffs’ defense, finding an open man time and time again as they stirred traffic off the ball.
Colorado came into Sunday’s game riding on a four game win streak as they knocked off the Arizona Wildcats on Friday and went 3-0 in their Pacific Northwest road trip where they defeated Oregon, Simon Fraser and Minnesota Duluth. CU will now take a few days off before preparing for Wyoming next Saturday, followed by Chapman, another big game on the schedule going down the stretch. Colorado will play Chapman on Apr. 9 at 3 p.m. in Boulder, three hours before the CU football spring game.
Arizona State meanwhile remains atop the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference with the win and will travel next week to Michigan to take on the Wolverines in a rematch of last year’s MCLA Championship game.
The audio broadcast from Sunday’s CU-ASU game is available online at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cu-buffs-lacrosse.
CU Men’s Lacrosse website: www.culax.org