Colorado State headed back to Fort Collins with a 1-1 start to the season after defeating the defending MCLA champion Grand Canyon Lopes 11-10 in overtime Sunday afternoon.
The sudden death victory shot came off the stick of senior captain Jake Johnson with just over two minutes remaining in overtime.
Johnson had been ill just two days before Sunday’s matchup during the Arizona game Friday night. Needless to say, after a hat trick and 2 assists against GCU, a healthy Jake Johnson is a huge piece of the Rams offensive puzzle.
“I just wanted to put the game away for the defense and the team. I knew I could take my defender, or at least draw a slide and move it. So I got the ball in the bottom wing and took it to the house.” said Johnson about his game winning shot.
This was a big bounce back win for the Rams after their loss to Arizona on Friday night. The Rams paid attention to detail and played with a competitive edge against GCU.
“We did some little things wrong against Arizona that we were committed to fixing. The offense caught fire, and the defense really held us in there at the end. It gives us the motivation to push forward for the rest of the season. Momentum is everything and I think we’ve got that.” said team president and captain, Jared Wade.
The Rams had many star performers on both sides of the field. Ryan Chamberlain dominated at the face-off X, winning 16 of 23. His dominance allowed the Rams to control the pace of the game. Midfielder Colin MacDonald made his impact felt on offense as he matched Jake Johnson with 3 goals in the game. Defender Alec Gieser silenced the Lopes top scorer, Dean Fairall, in the second half to keep the team in a position to win.
This is not only the first victory for the Rams this season, but it is the first victory for Head Coach Ted Fifield and Assistant Coach Brandon Hulett.
“It feels great, ultimately I’m proud of how those guys competed on the field, (…)It’s exciting, it’s something that we can build on this week as we look forward to more strong opponents.” said coach Fifield
Confidence is high among the staff and the team heading into the Rams first home stand. CSU will play host to Boise State (19) on Friday night and Oregon(24) on Sunday morning. Both teams have had outstanding starts to the 2016 season, and should provide some excellent competition when they visit Colorado State this weekend.