ORANGE, Calif. (03/11/12) – The University of Colorado’s Men’s Lacrosse team played against the Chapman University Panthers on March 9 for their season opener. The young team had a rough preseason, but went into the game with a lot of confidence and heart, despite the 9-6 loss.
In the first quarter, the Buffs were slow to score with Chapman scoring three goals. Ending the period with a score of 3-0, the slow start to the game didn’t stop Colorado from showing off their skills.
“In the beginning we didn’t quite come out altogether. It kicked in second quarter, everyone was playing together and offense gained some confidence, made a few goals and tied up the game,” said sophomore midfielder Hayden McClain. “We played hard all the way through, but couldn’t quite finish with a win.”
The second period started off with another goal from Chapman. The freshmen took the initiative and helped CU to make an impressive comeback. With 9:35 remaining, freshman Harrison Mallon hit the back of the net, scoring a point for Colorado. The goal created momentum, with Rowen Sloss adding to the scoreboard with 6:19 left in the stanza. Chapman was able to pick up another goal in the last 4:32 of the quarter. CU then ended the second period with three more goals. The first two were from freshmen Riley Kulm and Jace Gan, with the last by junior Matt White. Those goals tied up the game bringing the score to 5-5 at the end of the first half.
The game against Chapman allowed for Kulm to show the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association the potential of the younger Buff players.
“I think we proved a lot, not only to ourselves, but also to the rest of MCLA. With a rough preseason, a lot of people thought we were going to get killed by Chapman, but we gave them a really good game. It was 5-5 at half time and we showed a lot of heart out on the field so I was happy with that,” said Kulm. “I’m looking for us to get our first win for the season against Loyola Marymount on Sunday. We need to learn how to win and get in the habit of winning by scoring more goals and the offense gaining more possession.”
Chapman scored two goals in the beginning of the third quarter and CU answered back with another goal by Kulm, assisted by Alex Puldy. Chapman had another goal with 38 seconds remaining, ending the period 8-6.
The Buffs kept up the fight in the fourth quarter with two unfinished shots by White. Chapman ended the game with a goal in the final minute ending the contest 9-6.
Despite the loss, one of the team captains Ryan Emerson, was impressed from the turnout of the game.
“I thought we looked really good in the second quarter. It was definitely a big change from last weekend, which was exciting to see where we can be at. It slowed down in the second half because of penalties. If we could have eliminated penalties, I feel the game would have had a different result,” said Emerson. “This game just showed us we have confidence and that we can play at this level without a problem. When it comes down to it we’ll be able to beat teams later in the game as long as we can stay away from the little things.”