Colorado State traveled to Tucson Friday evening to take on ninth ranked Arizona. The Laxcats leaned on their senior goalie Tanner Knego to defeat the Rams 6-4, winning their fourth consecutive game in the process.
“I expected a game like that; a very hard-nosed, tough, blue-collared team. They are definitely the best team that we have played so far. I would not be surprised if they came out of Arizona with a win Sunday.” said Arizona Head Coach Derek Pedrick
Rams Head Coach Ted Fifield left the Arizona campus frustrated but optimistic after the loss.
“On the defensive end we played really well. We need to get the ball out of our zone a lot quicker and limit second chance opportunities, but ultimately we need to stick the ball in the net better than we did on Friday.” said Fifield.
The Rams scored just four goals, but the statistic that really stood out to assistant coach Brandon Hulett was their 20 turnovers.
“If we can’t keep the ball on our end and get good runs on their defense were not going to win many games. We just need to play with confidence; I don’t think we have that confidence right now to be successful.” said Hulett
The Rams are eager to step on the field to face the reigning MCLA national champion Grand Canyon on Sunday. Sunday’s game is a great matchup for the Rams. Their shut down defense will be tested by a very talented offense from the Lopes.
“Defense is our strong point. I think we match up pretty well with their offensive positional players. We have to eliminate easy goals and make them work for their shots. We want to do our best to out work them, do all the little things correctly, and put ourselves in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter.” said Fifield.
Grand Canyon is coming off a riveting 14-13 win over top-ranked Colorado. The Buffs scored 9 goals in the fourth quarter before the Lopes ended the game with two late goals to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
“Scoring 9 goals a quarter is unheard of. It’s good to know offensively that if we get down we can go on a little run. We need to have that sense of urgency all the way through the fourth quarter.” said Hulett.
The Rams and Lopes are set for a noon start on Sunday afternoon. The game will be an outstanding early season challenge for Colorado State. The team may have dropped their first game, but the Rams plan to leave the desert with at least one win under their belt.