The numbers â€œ11-4â€ were written on the white board in the Colorado State locker room at Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods Park Saturday.
That was the final score of last yearâ€™s Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown ÂÂâ€“â€“ CSUâ€™s first loss in the series against bitter-rival CU-Boulder.
Avenging last yearâ€™s loss, the Rams trounced CU-Boulder 13-6 Saturday, bringing the all-time series record to 6-1.
â€œLosing last year 11-4; that was hard to take,â€ said team captain Cooper Kehoe. â€œThis game has been in the back of our minds all season, so winning tonight is awesome.â€
With emotions high, CSU (11-0) jumped out quickly with a Greyson Konkel goal one minute into the game and Garret Fugier added another minutes later, giving the Rams the early 2-0 lead.
The Buffs (2-5) never recovered.
Using a balanced offensive attack and stingy team defense, the Rams built a 7-2 lead at the beginning of the third quarter and the rout was on.
Nine players scored for the Rams, including four with two goals apiece: Konkel, Fugier, Kehoe and Paul Larson.
â€œOur attack is so well-rounded. Austin Fisher and Paul Larson are great players, and they just take the load off of everybody when we have three great attack men,â€ Kehoe said.
Head coach Alex Smith said that the real key to the gameâ€™s success was the play of goalie Alex Jacques.
â€œThatâ€™s probably the best Alex played all year,â€ Smith said. â€œHe made a lot of saves that really gave us some momentum. It was pretty easy to hand out the game ball today.â€
A veteran of three Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdowns, Jacques didnâ€™t let the atmosphere of Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods Park get to him.
â€œIâ€™ve seen the game a little bit. Iâ€™ve gotten the jitters out a little more, and I kind of knew what to expect,â€ Jacques said. â€œThey kind of told me to just have fun and play my game.â€
CSU enjoyed playing the Showdown for the first time at Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods Park. About 1,000 fans braved the strong winds and cold to cheer on the Rams.
â€œThe facilities are great, the field is great, the crowd was great; itâ€™s really a cool event for our guys,â€ Smith said.
Ranked first in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC) and second overall in the Menâ€™s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), CSU is vying for its fifth national title and Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods Park is this yearâ€™s site for the MCLA championship â€“ a place Smith wants to see his team.
â€œWith the win today, we have some motivation to work hard and try to earn our way back here,â€ Smith said.
Sports Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.