BOULDER (4/9/11)– The No. 5 Chapman University Panthers held off the No. 9 University of Colorado men’s lacrosse team in a 13-12 victory that quite literally went down to the final seconds at Kittredge Field on Saturday afternoon. Both teams surged on offense in the second half in comparison to the first half, and it ultimately came down to a key faceoff and ground ball battle that decided the end result.
CU’s offense was highlighted by points leader A.J. Blackburn, who finished with four goals and sophomore Jack Cranston, who finished with three.
Michael Marchand’s three goal performance paved the way for the Panthers while Will Morrison (two goals and one assist) and Andrew Clayton (two goals) followed close behind.
The Buffaloes looked like a much different team compared to their last outing against Arizona State on Apr. 27, minimizing their mistakes early on en route to an early lead in the first half. The defense for the black and gold in retrospect halted most of Chapman’s high powered offense in the first two quarters, shutting off opportunities near the crease and holding them to just three goals in the first 30 minutes. CU led 5-3 at halftime.
The same offensive production wouldn’t be true for Colorado in the third quarter, where Chapman went on a 7-0 scoring run and utilized the wrap-around crease option nearly flawlessly. Down 10-5 in the fourth quarter, the Buffs were able to stay in the game with a couple of early goals, but Chapman found the back of the net as well, which proved pivotal in the final minutes.
Midway through the fourth, Colorado went on a 4-0 scoring run, but it would be Chapman’s Andrew Nordstrom’s insurance goal at the 2:05 mark that proved to be the difference maker.
CU scored twice with under two minutes to play to make it a one goal game and won the ensuing faceoff with 38 seconds to go. A quick timeout by Colorado head coach Mike Ryder set up a potentially game tying offensive play, but the Panthers long poles were waiting to take away the middle of the box and force a loose ball turnover to seal the win for Chapman.
The win puts Chapman at 9-2 on the year while Colorado falls to 7-3 overall. The Panthers will travel to Fort Collins on Monday afternoon to face the No. 2 Colorado State Rams to wrap up their Rocky Mountain road trip. The Buffs meanwhile will take the field again tomorrow when they host Texas Tech at 1 p.m. at Kittredge Field.
Listen to the archived audio broadcast from Saturday’s Colorado-Chapman game at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cu-buffs-lacrosse.
Story written by CU Lacrosse Public Relations Director Nick Salen.