Monday, April 18, 2011

Men's Lacrosse Loses a Heartbreaker versus Colorado State

DENVER (4/16/11) – The No. 8 University of Colorado’s men’s lacrosse team lost in a 9-8 thriller against the No. 2 Colorado State Rams at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Saturday night.

The Buffaloes loss drops their record to 8-3 overall and 2-2 in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference. The win improves the Rams record to 10-1 overall and 1-0 in the RMLC. 

At first the game appeared like it was going to be a blowout. CSU jumped out to an 8-3 halftime lead behind multiple goals from sophomore Austin Fisher and senior Cooper Kehoe. After a slow third quarter, CU’s sophomore sensation Jack Cranston managed to find the back of the net bringing CU to within four goals entering the fourth. The Buffs exploded in the fourth, scoring four unanswered goals. Along with Cranston, seniors Steven Keyes, A.J. Blackburn and Colin Rosenblum all scored in the Buffs four goal surge. Rosenblum scored the game tying goal with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter.

After Rosenblum’s game tying goal, the crowd went crazy and what earlier was a quiet CU fan section soon became electric. The Rams regained their composure when sophomore Alex Devlin hit a critical go ahead shot with 6:20 left in the game. The shot turned out to be the game winner for CSU, who fended off multiple attacks by the Buffaloes in the remaining minutes.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said CU head coach Mike Ryder. “We came out fired up in the game, but we weren’t executing on the offensive end. Offensively we were ok, but our defense was hurting us so bad that our momentum wasn’t carrying over to the offensive end.”

Cranston led the Buffs with four goals while Blackburn scored twice. Rosenblum and Keyes also scored critical goals in the Buffaloes 5-0 run in the second half. Perhaps most important in Colorado’s comeback effort was sophomore goalie Brad Macnee, who only gave up one goal in the entire second half and made several spectacular saves.  

“It starts in practice,” Blackburn said on what the team needs to do to start winning close games. “We are going to do some tough conditioning in practice, a lot of stick work and cleaning up the little stuff that will make the one goal differences go our way.”

The Buffs will look to rebound from their tough loss by getting a few wins in New England next weekend. CU will look to end Boston College seven game winning streak when they travel to Chestnut Hill on Apr. 22. Colorado will then close out their regular season at Connecticut the next day and at New Hampshire on Apr. 25.

CU will head to the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Playoffs on May 5-7 at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. The MCLA National Championships will be held May 17-21 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.