Mar 252010
 
Authors: Cris Tiller

Editor’s Note: Due to snow on the lacrosse fields on campus, Saturday night’s game against Utah State has been moved to Loveland Sports Park.

Half way through the season, CSU men’s lacrosse is playing as good as any team in the nation.

The Rams (9-0) have beaten up on teams from around the country, including schools like Texas, Arizona and Arizona State, outscoring opponents 120-60. They seem to get even stronger as the game goes on, scoring 40 goals in the fourth period and only giving up 14.

Tomorrow, CSU will face an up-and-coming Utah State team in their first home game played on campus.

“I don’t know how much of an advantage we’ll get from it,” said head coach Alex Smith. “Hopefully it will let us relax and get some home cookin’.”
While the match-up does not look like a tough game on paper, Utah State and the Rams have not played each other in two seasons.

“We didn’t play them last year. The only other time we got a look at them was the year before,” said senior captain Andrew Stein. “We’re just going to try to play them straight up and outwork them at any position that we feel they’re strongest at.”

The coaches look at this game as a chance to fix some of the problems that have come up throughout the season.

“We have kind of played down a little bit to the competition,” Smith said. “Some of the guys who don’t play as much haven’t stepped up when it’s their time, so this is their chance to really make an impact.”

Smith also sees this game against Utah State as an opportunity to get some of the less experienced players playing time that they have not been able to receive so far.

“We are going to try to get our young players as much time as possible,” Smith said. “(Utah State) is still a growing program, and hopefully we can get (young players) some experience.”

Perhaps the real importance of this game at home is to act as a springboard for the Rocky Mountain Showdown with CU-Boulder at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 3.

“We want to promote our game next week,” Smith said. “That would be the biggest point of this game is to get some people out and spread the word about our game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next weekend.”

Looking ahead toward the game of the year could prove to be disastrous for the Rams on Saturday, but the team does not believe the distraction will affect the outcome.

“It might (distract us) a little bit,” Stein said. “One of our team mottos is just to play it game by game, one at a time.”

Whether it is Utah State or in-state rival CU-Boulder, the goal for the team is to finish the season off the same way it.

“We came out really strong, and we’re trying not to peak too early before nationals,” Stein said. “It is really important to us to finish strong.”

Club Sports Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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