Mar 272007
 
Authors: Grant Meech

Ominous clouds threatened the Rams lacrosse game Tuesday. But the clouds moved on, and the sun came out to guide the men’s lacrosse team to victory.

The Rams defeated University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) 8-3 on the practice field. With the win over the Gauchos, the Rams improved to 7-2 on the season.

UCSB scored first, but it didn’t take long for the Rams to even it up, when midfielder Brian Stone found the goal. The Gauchos scored again quickly, taking the lead, but the Rams got one back, ending the first quarter up 3-2.

The second half saw a lot of groundballs and some tougher hits, exciting the more than 50 fans in attendance. UCSB’s goalie, Juan Carlos Almerido, played well all game, making 12 stops on the day, but it was CSU’s goalie, Tyson Ehinger, who was the key for victory.

“Tyson was solid in goal for us today,” said head coach Flip Naumburg. “He brought the ball up-field when the defense didn’t, made good clears, and made the saves he needed to.”

With six minutes left on the clock in the first half, midfielder Pat Bird brought the ball from the right side of the field, one quick dodge, and ripped it in the corner of the net. Not to be outdone by their teammate, attack-man Danny Stevens beat his defender in midfield, ran it close to the goal before dishing it to midfielder John Tomlinson, who blew it past UCSB with a laser shot. That would be the last goal of the half, ending 5-2 Rams.

Cross checks and big hits were the highlights of a scrappy third quarter as both teams only scored once more, ending 6-3 Rams.

CSU’s defense continued their strong play in the fourth, keeping the Gauchos scoreless, but Ehinger gave another reason for the lack of UCSB goals.

“This was their first game on the trip out here,” said Ehinger. “They dropped a lot of balls on the crease and didn’t hit the cage that much today.”

CSU would find the net twice more before the final whistle, including a goal from Stevens, sending the crowd into cheers, and even making one UCSB fan acknowledge the strong goal.

The Rams will have to celebrate quickly because they face University of California at San Diego, Thursday at 4 p.m.

Men’s lacrosse beat writer Grant Meech can be reached at sports@collegian.com

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