Greeley, Colorado- The 7th ranked Colorado State Rams took the 13th ranked Florida Gators by storm on Wednesday afternoon, scoring 15 goals while giving up only 6. After Florida beat up on the University of Colorado Buffalos the previous day 12-4, Colorado State knew they had to come ready to play if they were going to walk away with the victory.
Interim coach Alex Smith has done a great job of making sure the Rams are ready for each game in head coach Flip Naumburg’s absence. “Today’s game was all about us. We knew that they would be good but we really wanted to focus on winning individual battles and matching their intensity.”
It was perhaps their most solid effort of the season to date. The offense came alive as they went on a 10 goal scoring run from the second quarter until early in the third, and the defense played outstanding yet again. The Rams have improved with each game, and their progress was evident throughout the game.
“I thought our long poles and goalie were excellent today,” said Smith. “Andrew Stein continues to play well in every match-up we give him and Chris Rosa is coming into his own also. I thought that our settled defensive work today was as good as it’s been for some time.”
Stein (Columbine HS; CO) and Rosa (Pomona HS; CO) have both played well on defense all season. Their aggressive play has forced a lot of turnovers and helped prevent a lot of scoring opportunities from happening. Junior Alex Jacques (Bainbridge Island HS; WA) had another great game in net with 12 saves, as well as a nasty hit on an unsuspecting Gator in front of the crease.
Leading the Rams offensive attack were sophomore attackmen Cooper Kehoe (Stevenson HS; CA) and Paul Larson (Columbine HS; CO) with four points each. Kehoe ended up with four goals against Florida, and Larson had two goals with two assists to match. Outside of the usual suspects, sophomore midfielder Jameson Keating (Air Academy; CO) was able to score his first goal of the season.
Colorado State has gone 4-0 in their home stand, and is preparing for a tough Spring Break trip to California and Utah, where they will play four of the top 25 teams (Utah is 20th in the Computer Rankings). Their most anticipated games will be against #3 Chapman and #4 Brigham Young, both of which are 6-1 on the season. Their only losses have been to the top two ranked teams, #1 Michigan and #2 Simon Fraser.
s demanding as their schedule will be during the trip, the Rams are a great group of players with strong leadership and intelligent coaches that know what it takes to win. Smith will know what it will take to get the team prepared. “To me the most important part of our trip is taking it one game at a time. All five of the teams we are playing are ranked and all five will be challenging in their own way. We need to be prepared for each team as they come and make sure that we are ready to play at the opening whistle for all of the games.”