Apr 122012
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

After a rough outing against BYU last week, the CSU lacrosse team will try to pick up its first conference win of the season Friday night against Utah on the Intramural fields.

The Utes enter the game losers of their last three games following a 6-2 start.

“We’re still trying to find our personality,” Utah coach Craig Morris said. “We’re not playing well right now, but we plan on growing from it.”

Traditionally, Utah has fielded good goalies and strong long stick defenders, but this season has struggled to keep up with opponents in its losses. Depth became an issue in the Utes’ recent loss to Oregon, as the Ducks turned a 5-5 game at the end of the third quarter to a 12-5 beatdown.

“We’ve put together nice pieces,” Morris said, “but we’re hoping to put two halves together.”

CSU experienced similar problems this season, usually starting strong and letting teams back into the second half of games, but did just the opposite against BYU. The Cougars scored the game’s first four goals and held on in the fourth quarter.

“I would not say our team morale is in a happy place right now,” CSU coach Alex Smith said. “Our guys are pretty upset about the way (last) Friday night went, and they’re looking forward to playing again.”

A win for either team would put them in the conversation for the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference regular season title and top seed in the conference tournament in May.

“This conference is pretty much up for grabs,” Morris said. “I think it’s the best conference in the country, so if you do well here you can compete with anyone in the country.”

For CSU’s seniors, the match up possesses even more significance, as it will be their final career game in Fort Collins.

“It’s really been a blessing to play on campus, especially night games where we get large crowds,” CSU senior Matt Jui said. “I’m really going to do my best to enjoy the whole experience.”

Over the course of their careers, the group has compiled a 58-18 record while winning the last two RMLC championships.

“I have some really great relationships with this particular group of seniors,” Smith said. “It comes so quickly, and I hope there’s some emotions there.”

Men’s lacrosse Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Standings
1. Utah: 1-0 (5-4)
2. CU: 1-0 (6-5)
3. BYU: 3-1 (13-2)
4. Utah State: 1-1 (3-5)
5. CSU: 0-1 (9-2)
6. UNM: 0-3 (4-5)

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