Beaverton, OR – In their MCLA Division I opener, the #2 Colorado State Rams traveled to Portland, OR to meet up with #22 Simon Fraser in the first annual Southridge Lacrosse Classic at Southridge High School. The Rams scored first and never trailed in the game, taking a 4-2 lead into the halftime break before outpacing SFU 7-2 in the second half for an 11-4 victory. Junior attackman Austin Fisher (Rock Canyon HS / Highlands Ranch, CO) led the way for CSU with three goals and an assist and sparked an offensive outburst that seemed to coincide with the increasingly rainy conditions as the game wore on Friday afternoon.
Leading 4-2 at halftime, Colorado State scored four goals in a decisive third quarter, including a huge momentum swinger by senior midfielder Matt Jui (Columbine HS / Littleton, CO) with .1 seconds remaining on the clock. The Rams then closed the game out with three goals in the final quarter to win going away and get their second straight victory over Simon Fraser following 2010’s heartbreaking quarterfinal loss at the MCLA national tournament. The story of the game was CSU’s terrific defensive effort, holding the dangerous and crafty Canadian squad to minimal scoring opportunities.
While Fisher got the lion’s share of the points for the attackmen, CSU got major production from a midfield group that saw three players score two goals each. Jui joined juniors Tim Taggart (Mountain Vista HS / Highlands Ranch, CO) and Dustin Grybinas (Kirkwood HS / Kirkwood, MO) in the two-goal parade as the Rams found success dodging from up top against Simon Fraser’s defense.
CSU struck first on a smooth feed and finish from Fisher to sophomore Sean Smith (Amherst HS / Amherst, NY) and added a second goal when Greyson Konkel (Regis Jesuit HS / Aurora, CO) beat the Simon Fraser defense for an isolation goal. The Rams continued to put on the offensive pressure in the second quarter, getting tallies from Grybinas and Fisher to stake out to their 4-2 lead.
Junior Dan Warfield (Smoky Hill HS / Aurora, CO) continued his strong play at the face-off ‘x’ by winning 10 of 15 draws, pushing his season totals to an impressive 78%. The Rams won most statistical categories in the game, outshooting SFU 42-24 and picking up 38 groundballs to the Clan’s 29. Both teams cleared the ball well on the wet turf. Simon Fraser cashed in on one of four man-ups while CSu was held scoreless on all five of their attempts.
Next up for CSU (3-0 overall) is a clash with the #3 Chapman Panthers on Saturday afternoon, again at Southridge HS. Chapman defeated the University of Oregon 10-7 on Friday night. The game between CSU and Chapman will again be aired live on www.laxx.tv and will be a rematch of CSU’s exciting 11-9 victory last season in Fort Collins.