The CSU lacrosse team defeated Utah 12-8 Friday night in Fort Collins, but CSU coach Alex Smith was less than thrilled with his teamâ€™s play.
â€œI think we went through the motions today,â€ Smith said. â€œWeâ€™re a lot better than we showed today.â€
CSU led 12-5 at the end of the third quarter, but didnâ€™t score again for the rest of the game, while Utah put three in the net in the final frame. Utah switched into a zone defense during the fourth quarter, and CSUâ€™s zone offense was unable to work through it.
â€œWe made them work a little longer than they would have expected after that third quarter, and overall Iâ€™m real proud of how the guys continued to work,â€ Utah coach Craig Morris said.
Despite Utahâ€™s comeback attempt, the CSU sideline did not fear the game was slipping away.
â€œThere was no concern,â€ CSU junior Kacy Carter said. â€œWe took some shots and hit some pipes, but we just switched things up a bit and didnâ€™t come out with a goal.â€
Carter scored three of his game-high five goals in the first 2:03 of the second half to put the Rams up 9-2.
â€œWhen he gets the good looks thatâ€™s his job to finish,â€ Smith said. â€œOur offense is struggling right now, so we need to find ways to manufacture some goals.â€
The Rams looked sharp on offense early, scoring five out of the gameâ€™s first six goals to cruise into a 6-2 lead at halftime, but slowed down significantly after Carterâ€™s outburst, scoring only three goals over the gameâ€™s final 25 minutes.
â€œOur communication on offense was lackluster today, and we had opportunities that we didnâ€™t convert on,â€ Carter said.
CSU has not played well in the fourth quarter this season, regularly allowing teams to come back within striking distance after they looked buried.
â€œItâ€™s frustrating that we havenâ€™t played well in the fourth quarter, but thatâ€™s the trend that continues for us,â€ Smith said. â€œWeâ€™re going to need to find an answer for that if weâ€™re going to get where we want to get.â€
One of CSUâ€™s primary goals this season is to win the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference title, and a win over Utah puts the in team in a tie for third in the conference standings heading into next weekâ€™s Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown.
To get there, the team will need to find a way to generate more consistent offense.
â€œAll that work comes in practice,â€ Carter said. â€œWe need to pay within ourselves and have no one play out of their roles and weâ€™ll be fine.â€
Menâ€™s lacrosse Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSU goals scored by quarter
1st – 3
2nd – 3
3rd – 6
4th – 0