The second-ranked CSU men’s club lacrosse team defeated Colorado 9-6 Saturday night at Invesco Field at Mile High in the third annual Rocky Mountain Showdown.
CSU continued its dominance in the series against CU, staying undefeated in the Showdown series.
The game had a similar intensity to the two schools’ football teams. Fans from the rival schools tailgated pre-game in the parking lot and chants from both schools could be heard as the fans spilled into the stadium.
CU struck first when Brian Morgan found the back of the net in the first quarter. CU went on to score two more goals to take a 3-0 lead into the second quarter.
Sophomore attacker Tyler Treece broke the scoring drought for the Rams when he scored near the end of the second quarter, making the score 3-1.
The Ram offense came alive in the second quarter when junior Brian Vickery scored his only goal of the game. The CSU defense played well, shutting out the Buffaloes in the second, but CU played well and both goalies made exceptional saves. For the game, CSU’s Pete Jokisch recorded 11 saves and former Ram, now Buffalo goalie Tyson Ehinger, recorded 10.
With 30 seconds left in the first half, Treece struck again, tying up the game 3-3.
At the end of halftime, the Rams appeared more energetic and excited than the Buffaloes, something that was expressed in the locker room.
“We needed to fight harder in the third,” Jokisch said. “We decided it was a whole new ball game, score zero-zero.”
CSU began the second half with possession and the physical play got more intense. But CU would strike first when Ryan Dunn ripped a shot past Jokisch to make the score 4-3. CSU would answer when Treece tied the score at 4-4. He finished the day with five goals and one assist.
Near the end of the quarter sophomore Campbell Deibolt found the back of the net bringing the score to 5-4 and giving the Rams their first lead of the game.
“It was a little unnerving,” said head coach Flip Naumburg in reference to his team being behind the majority of the game. “But I never lost faith.”
Thirty seconds into the fourth quarter, CU tied the score at five apiece. But the tie did not last as the Rams’ offense came alive. Treece scored a goal on CU for a 6-5 lead, and captain Pat Bird then went coast-to-coast for his only score, with 9:50 left to increase the lead to 7-5. Treece capped the three-goal burst with a goal on a pass from sophomore John Tomlinson, bringing the score to 8-5.
CU would score again before the end but it was for naught. Freshman Steven Lundberg ended the game’s scoring with an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left, giving CSU a 9-6 victory.
The Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Championships in Logan, Utah is next up for the Rams. Friday and Saturday will give the Rams rematches with BYU and CU.
Grant Meech can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org