CU 9, CSU 6 Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown
Denver, CO – The #4 Colorado State Rams rallied from a 5-1 halftime deficit to trail the #2 Colorado Buffaloes 7-6 with 5:38 left in the 12th annual Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown Saturday night. But the Buffs put the game away with two goals in ten seconds to win 9-6 in front of over 3,000 fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. The story of the game was CU’s ability to score quickly as three different times in the game they scored consecutive goals in less than a minute.
Colorado struck first in a defensive first quarter that saw only one goal by both teams. The Buffaloes outshot CU 14-6 in the opening frame, but senior goaltender Jack Regan (Sunset HS; Portland, OR) was up to the task, making seven saves in the opening fifteen minutes.
The second quarter saw the Buffs explode for three goals in 1:38 to stake out to a 4-0 lead with 10:02 remaining. Freshman Matt King (Avon Grove HS; West Grove, PA) finally got the Rams on the board with a man-up tally halfway through the period before CU midfielder Greg Kelsic made it 5-1 Buffs with :59 left in the half. The Rams were just a second late on making it a three-goal game at halftime, but the buzzer sounded and the goal was disallowed.
After being thoroughly outplayed in the first half, Colorado State took control of the third quarter. Senior Sean
Smith (Amherst HS; Amherst, NY) and sophomore Brian Allen (Judge Memorial HS; Salt Lake City, UT) each tallied for the Rams in the third while senior goaltender Koltin Fatzinger (Wheat Ridge HS; Thornton, CO) sparkled with five saves. At the end of the third it was 5-3 Colorado.
King scored again for the Rams to open the fourth quarter and make it a one-goal game, but Colorado again struck for two goals within thirty seconds as Riley Seidel and Griffin Bohm pushed the lead back to three. CSU then scored twice in transition as senior Kacy Carter (Rock Canyon HS; Castle Rock, CO) made two spectacular plays – one on a finish to make it 7-5 and another on a contested groundball at the midfleld that led to an easy goal by junior Chris Roach (Wheat Ridge HS; Westminster, CO).
With the momentum securely in the Rams’ favor, Colorado midfielder Riley Kulm notched a huge goal and the Buffs followed it up with long-stick midfielder making a play on the ensuing face-off and scoring just ten seconds later to secure the 9-6 win for Colorado.
The teams were even in shots with 42 each. Colorado State picked up 39 groundballs to CU’s 30, mostly thanks to the face-off play of junior Brian Roach (Wheat Ridge HS; Westminster, CO), who went 13/19 on the evening. CSU was once again plagued by turnovers and poor clearing as they gave the ball away a total of 25 times.
King had two goals to lead the Rams while Smith had a goal and an assist. Sophomore Jake Johnson (Bridgton Academy; Lake Forest, CA) also added two assists. Seidel had two goals and an assist for Colorado, who also got two goals from attackman Jack Cranston in an otherwise balanced effort. Regan and Fatzinger combined for 15 saves while Mitch Fenton had 10 for Colorado.
The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for Colorado State, who closes the regular season at 10-4 overall and 2-2 in RMLC play. The Rams will host Utah State in an RMLC quarterfinal game next Saturday. For the Buffs, their first Showdown victory since 2009 pushes them to 12-2 overall and 4-0 in the RMLC. They will receive a bye to the RMLC playoffs in Grand Junction on May 2-4.