The rivalry between CSU and BYU may have cooled down at the Division I level with the Cougarsâ€™ departure from the Mountain West, but it still rages on the lacrosse field.
â€œThereâ€™s something that happens that transcends the Xâ€™s and Oâ€™s on the field,â€ BYU coach Matt Schneck said. â€œIt becomes a battle of will and desire.â€
The next clash will occur Saturday at 7 p.m. when CSU and BYU square off at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch for the CSU lacrosse Hall of Fame game.
BYU (11-1) enters the game ranked third in the latest MCLA poll and averages 17.25 goals per game.
Senior Ted Ferrin spearheads the Cougar attack with 53 goals and 31 assists, and leads the Menâ€™s Collegiate Lacrosse Association in both categories.
â€œHeâ€™s the most well-rounded attackman at our level right now,â€ CSU coach Alex Smith said. â€œBut I donâ€™t think he changes our game plan besides that heâ€™s at the top of the scouting report.â€
The scouting report for BYUâ€™s whole team says the Cougars play well in transition and that anyone on the team can score. Over the years, Schneck has tried to promote a brand of lacrosse at BYU focusing on hard work and preparation.
â€œWe never overlook our opponents,â€ he said.
Neither the Cougars nor the Rams will ever overlook their matchups.
â€œThereâ€™s no love lost,â€ Smith said. â€œWe always know where this game is on the schedule.â€
Last year, the teams met up three times, once in the regular season and twice in postseason tournaments. BYU won the regular season meeting 8-5, but lost in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Association Championship game 8-5.
The teams met two weeks later in the semifinals of the MCLA National Championships, and BYU prevailed 14-11.
â€œTheyâ€™re a big physical team and really good at stopping our clear,â€ CSU midfielder Dustin Grybinas said. â€œThatâ€™s how they beat us last year.â€
This year the Cougars are tied for first in the RMLC standings with Utah and Utah State at 1-0. CSU has not played a conference game yet, so both teams understand the significance of this game.
â€œRegardless of what our records are entering the game, this is a game both teams get up for,â€ Schneck said. â€œItâ€™s going to be a competitive game with a lot of emotion â€” by far the best game of the year.â€
Menâ€™s lacrosse Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at email@example.com.
BYU Player to Watch
Senior Attacker Ted Ferrin
53 goals (leads MCLA)
31 assists (leads MCLA)
7 points per game (leads MCLA)