In the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union playoffs this weekend, the CSU rugby team won both of its games to qualify for nationals in the spring. In two very close games against rivals Colorado and Wyoming, who was ranked fourth in the nation, the Rams won by capitalizing on key scoring chances late in both games.
On Saturday, CSU faced CU and came out strong, taking the lead into halftime at 19-10. CU came back in the second half by scoring two tries and taking the lead.
With five minutes left, CSU freshman Shawn Kelly kicked the game-winning penalty kick and captured the victory with a score of 22-20. Head coach Jesse Porter was happy with the team’s performance but feels they could have played better.
“The game was much closer than it should have been. They came back on us in the second half and we never should have let that happen,” Porter said.
The win assured CSU a spot at nationals, but its next game against Wyoming would determine whether it would get a first round bye. This game was the closest of the Rams’ fall season and had to go into double overtime after ending with a regulation score of 22-22.
After a few minutes in the second overtime, CSU’s efforts finally paid off as they drove down the field and found a gap in Wyoming’s defense. When the ball touched the ground in the try zone, it sealed a Ram victory and guaranteed them a trip to the ERRFU nationals, where they are already placed in the sweet 16.
This game was the last for CSU this fall as they end the season with a
3-2 record for a second place ERRFU finish. A handful of CSU players will play in one more tournament this fall, in the ERRFU All-star game this weekend in Kansas City. The rest of the team will get a well-deserved break until next January when the spring season starts up.
Lacrosse team takes four in Las Vegas
The CSU lacrosse team traveled to Las Vegas last weekend and won all four of its games. The tournament was the last competition that the Rams will see until next spring when the official collegiate season begins.
CSU can credit its spectacular defense, ability to win face-offs and ability to keep possession of the ball in its first for the 7-4 win over Cal Poly. Head coach Flip Naumburg was happy to get the victory, but disappointed with CSU’s level of play.
“We didn’t play all that well in this game. The only remarkable thing for us in the game was that, once again, and as we have all fall, we dominated ball possession time,” Naumburg said.
Next, CSU had to play rival Sonoma State. There was a lot of trash talking before and throughout the game, but in the end CSU had the last laugh, winning 10-5. Sonoma was plagued by penalties and could not put up a very good fight with men in the penalty box during most of the game.
The game served as sweet revenge for the Rams, who lost to Sonoma State last year in the United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates Championship Tournament 13-10.
The next game was also won by CSU, with a score of 8-5 over Chico State. Rumors going into the tournament picked Chico State to be the best team, and although they were the only ones to ever have a lead over CSU (they scored early making the score 1-0), they were no match for the Rams.
The last game of the tournament was against BYU, and was also the most physical. CSU came out strong and took the lead 5-1 at halftime. The Rams continued the attack in the second half and finished the game by winning 7-2.
Once again, Naumburg was pleased with CSU’s play.
“It was by far our best effort and cleanest game of the entire fall,” Naumburg said.
The Rams will resume play in the spring when they hope to continue their hot streak and make another appearance in the USLIA Championship Tournament.
-Edited by Jon Ackerman and Josh Hardin