Farmers Branch, TX – The #7 Colorado State Rams rallied from a 3-0 first quarter deficit and outscored #10 Virginia Tech 16-4 over the final 45 minutes to record an MCLA first-round win in Dallas, TX. The Rams used balanced scoring, including getting multi-point efforts from 6 different players in the 16-7 win as CSU moved to the MCLA Quarterfinals. Sophomore attackman Kevin Wolff (Don Bosco Prep; NJ) led all scorers with 5 points on 2 goals and 3 assists and the Rams scored 6 goals in the fourth quarter to ice the victory over a talented and hard-working Hokie team.
The game at Ross Stewart Soccer Complex was played on a field with a fairly severe slope from one end of the field to the other. Virginia Tech was the beneficiary of the slope in the first quarter, running off the first three goals of the game and keeping CSU off the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes. Thomas Schauder scored the first of his team-high 4 goals in the first quarter and it appeared that it was going to be a long day for the Rams. But in the second quarter, the Rams jumped all over the Hokies, scoring 8 unanswered goals to take an 8-3 lead into the halftime break. Over the course of the game, the team going up the slope of the hill was outscored 21-2 as CSU managed 2 third quarter goals while VT was shutout during the second and fourth stanzas.
Besides Wolff’s 5 points, the Rams also got three goals each from midfielders Ryan MacDonald (Smoky Hill HS; CO) and Joel Tromburg (Heritage HS; CO). Tromburg’s tallies all came in the decisive 6-0 fourth quarter for the Rams as CSU slowly pulled away and put their stamp on the game. CSU got 2 goals each from Cooper Kehoe (Robert Louis Stevenson HS; CA), Paul Larson (Columbine HS; CO) and Dylan Bowman (Fairview HS; CO) as well.
Colorado State had success facing off against Virginia Tech’s All-Conference draw man Sean Simmons. Scott Gelston (Air Academy HS; CO), Pat Miller (Air Academy HS; CO) and Tromburg combined to go 15 for 26 on the day, providing a serious boost for the Rams in the middle of the field. Senior long pole Tom Fender (Thunder Ridge HS; CO) led all players with 7 groundballs on the evening, most of which came off the draw. Fender also scored a goal on a transition play in the fourth quarter to help put the game out of reach.
Neither team was particularly sharp on the clear, throwing several passes away, but Colorado State enjoyed a large lead in the groundball category, scooping up 58 grounders to VT’s 32. CSU’s goalie tandem of seniors Tyson Ehinger (Heritage HS; CO) and Garrett Fitzgerald (Regis Jesuit HS; CO) made 14 saves while VT’s Andrew Jaffke had 15 in the losing effort. CSU’s man-up went 3 for 3 as well.
The Rams (12-6 overall) move on to the MCLA Quarterfinals to take on #2 Chapman on Wednesday. The Panthers defeated #15 Florida 13-10 on Tuesday to move on. Other quarterfinal match-ups include #1 Michigan vs. #9 Georgia, #3 Minnesota-Duluth vs. #6 Arizona State and #4 Brigham Young vs. #5 Simon Fraser.