by Matt Morrison | MCLA.us
IRVINE, Calif. – Intensity remained at an apex through the final game of the first round of the 2016 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour. The last of 16 opening round match-ups saw Arizona State edge Colorado State 8-7 in a Division I contest uncertain until the final seconds.
“We knew we were going to get a close, intense game,” said Arizona State coach Todd MacRobbie, who’s Sun Devils lost to the Rams, 7-6, in a meeting less than a month ago. “That’s how they played us the first time. We knew that if we possessed the ball and limited our turnovers, we would come out the right way.”
“This is the kind of game we expected,” lamented Colorado State coach Ted Fifield. “Both of us are defense-first teams. Both teams struggle to score goals at times, so we didn’t expect a high scoring affair.”
No. 8 ASU labored to a 2-0 lead deep into the second quarter before the No. 7 Rams turned the momentum with two quick goals just before half. The Sun Devils outscored the Rams 4-2 in the third, setting up a go-for-broke final period with nothing less than survival at stake.
Sophomore midfielder Collin Zines' second goal of the game early in the fourth pulled the Rams within one at 6-5. The drama built through a series of excellent defensive stands on both ends of the field before freshman attackman Patrick Haviland sneaked from behind the net to shovel in his third goal of the game.
Relentless effort earned CSU new hope when senior attackman Jake Johnson whipped one in just ahead of the five-minute mark to make it 7-6. The Sun Devils responded just over a minute later when Tommy Carasco set up Jake Marthens for his third goal of the night.
The Rams didn’t back down and when Chase Warner scored with an overhead shot with 1:25 to play, it was a one-goal game down the stretch. CSU gained possession again in the closing seconds, but ASU freshman goalie Johnnie Perlite came up with a clutch save that sealed it for the Sun Devils.
“It got a little nerve wracking at the end, especially with them having the ball,” said Carasco, who also contributed two goals, “but it feels really good to get that win and just continue playing.”
“Who really wouldn’t want to play in this atmosphere?” Haviland said of the intensity. “It’s a tournament for big boys.”
“I think the guys were a little bit more consistent,” summed up MacRobbie. “We knew we weren’t going to score a lot of goals, we just had to score more than them. They’re a very talented defensive team.”
ASU advances to meet top-seed Chapman in the D-I quarterfinals Tuesday at UC Irvine.
BYU Advances with Grinder Over Beavers
The goals were not plentiful, but No. 5 Brigham Young scored enough to end its two-year first round jinx by defeating No. 12 Oregon State (11-5), 7-5 in the first round. The win sends the Cougars to the quarterfinals where undefeated Georgia Tech awaits.
The Beavers took a 3-2 lead into halftime, but BYU (13-4) used a 4-0 third quarter to take a 6-3 advantage that would ultimately hold up. Freshman attackman Chris Severson scored two of his three goals in the third period binge. Junior middie Chase Miller added a pair of goals in the victory.
Oregon State managed to cut the lead to 6-5 in the fourth quarter helped by the performance of senior goalie Nick Widmer (17 saves), but a late Severson strike sealed the win.
Eagles Gaine Revenge Against LaxCats
Boston College freshman Lawson Pisani buried a game-high five goals while setting up a sixth, helping the Eagles coast past Arizona (7-5), 14-3 in first round action. The victory sets up a quarterfinal matchup between BC (13-3) and defending champion Grand Canyon on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
The drama was quickly taken out of this affair as Boston College took a 10-0 lead at the half and breezed home. Pisani was aided by the Eagles faceoff unit, led by sophomore Griffin Carney, which won 14-of-21 draws. Eagles goalie Mike Shepard made 11 saves to solidify the victory.
The win allowed Boston College to avenge one of its four losses this season. Back on March, the LaxCats beat the Eagles, 16-5.
Buffaloes Stampede UC Santa Barbara
The Colorado offense racked up 12 goals in the first half while the Buffaloes defense blanked UC Santa Barbara (10-6) for the first 27 minutes of the game on the way to a 17-6 rout in the first round. The victory sends Colorado (11-5) to the quarterfinals where it will meet Cal Poly on Tuesday.
For the Buffs, Max Wiesner (4g, 1a), John Clayton (3g, 2a) and Jake Gonzales (2g, 3a) all racked up five-point nights. Alex Dixon paced the Gauchos with four goals.