Spring Break brought nothing in the way of time off for the CSU men's lacrosse team. Instead, it equaled three road games against top-20 teams.
The undefeated Rams (10-0, 2-0 Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference) and United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates No. 2 ranked team, started their "break" in Carson, Calif., where they faced off against USLIA No. 1 team California-Santa Barbara at the Home Depot Center March 12.
The No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup did not disappoint as the two teams came out firing, scoring nine of the game's 14 goals in the first half. CSU took a 5-4 lead into halftime and never looked back. The Rams defense was stellar in the second half, allowing just two goals, and it carried the team to an 8-6 victory.
"We came out strong in the second half, and before it was five minutes old we led 7-4," wrote head coach Flip Naumburg on csulacrosse.com. "Our defense was playing pretty well, and our goalie, Pete Jokisch, was playing out of his mind."
The next night, the Rams faced No. 18 Utah at Loyola Marymount University. The Rams controlled this game throughout and ran away with a 13-6 win to notch the all-important first conference victory.
The Rams then traveled to Provo, Utah, to face conference rival and No. 3 ranked team Brigham Young on Tuesday. With this being the last game of a long road trip, the Rams easily could have came out flat, but they did the opposite. In a defense-dominated first half, the Rams took a 4-3 lead. The offense picked up in the second half, and BYU took a 7-6 lead to end the third quarter.
"Apparently we were not much enamored by being behind as the fourth quarter began," Naumburg wrote. "Starting less than two minutes into the fourth we scored three of an eventual four-goal run in the very short timeframe of 28 seconds."
The Rams continued to attack and ended the game on a 6-3 scoring run in the final quarter to win 12-10.
"We just kept coming at them until we got what we came for," Naumburg wrote. "I am simply proud to be the coach of such an extraordinary group of young men. They fought. They never quit on anything. They didn't quit on a play, on a moment, or on each other."
The Rams are now enjoying some time off. The team's next three games are scheduled at home, with the first coming on March 29 against Sonoma State.
Two close games have resulted in a 0-2 start for the CSU rugby team.
The team's first game of the season was against Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union rival Northern Colorado, and the Rams played a very good Bear squad tough but came up short.
Their next match up was against border rival Wyoming on March 11 at home. The game was back and forth until the Cowboys scored on a late try to win by three.
"It's been tough because we don't have an official head coach," said club president Jacob Silverman. "We have a lack of stability and leadership right now without a coach."
The team still searching for their next head coach will play at home against Colorado March 27.
Spring Break was a much needed rest for the CSU Women's Rugby team (2-3 overall).
"We took spring break off to give everybody some time to recover from injuries," said club president Amanda Kehmeier.
The ladies had a couple practices before the break and will continue practice on Tuesday. The team will then travel Laramie for an Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union match up with Wyoming March 26.
The team has a few more conference games to play. The team will also be trying to get in a late season tournament at California Santa Barbara in late April.
Spring baseball is supposed to be played in warm climates. With that in mind the CSU baseball team spent their break in Phoenix.
The team played four games, winning three against the Grand Canyon University Junior Varsity, Hesston College and Scottsdale Community College. The team's only loss came against Phoenix College.
"It was a great trip because all the games we played are better than the teams in our conference (Colorado Collegiate Baseball Conference)," said club president David Schultz. "It was also good because we were able to spend a lot of time together as a team."
After spending a week in 70-degree weather, the team will play conference foe Northern Colorado at home Saturday and Sunday.