The Location of Thursday’s game against UC Santa Barbara has been changed from the Colorado State campus to Loveland Sports Park because of nearly a foot of snowfall in Fort Collins. Rams players and coaches were looking forward to hosting the Gauchos for their on campus debut. However, now they will compete on familiar playing ground in Loveland.
Loveland Sports Park contains the haunting memory of losing to the Oregon Ducks 9-8 in double overtime on March 6th. The loss proved to be a learning experience for the Rams, propelling them to win back-to-back games against Cal and Sonoma State during their spring break trip.
Thursday is possibly the last opportunity for the 2016 Rams to defend Loveland Sports Park, which has served them as a secondary home. Hours of practice on Loveland’s turf has sculpted this resilient team into the 9th ranked team in the Under Armour MCLA Coach’s Poll.
CSU players are familiar with snowy, cold conditions, unlike the Gauchos who prefer the warm weather of Southern California. Although the Gauchos are not used to the cold, it’s hard to deny their toughness.
UCSB has been on a tear since losing the first two games of the season to Stanford and Cal Poly. Since February 12th the Gauchos have won six games in a row, dominating tough teams like Sonoma State (18) and UNLV (23).
The Gauchos biggest win of the season came yesterday against the Ram’s rival, 4th ranked Colorado. UCSB surprised the Buffs with their effort and consistency, beating them 14-10 at Kittredge field.
The Gauchos will have to switch gears from the 70 degree weather they experienced on Tuesday night. The weather forecast is a high of 48 degrees and 82% chance of precipitation in Northern Colorado tomorrow evening.
With how well UCSB has been playing, the Rams will have their work cut out for them on Thursday night. Hopefully the team can take advantage of a perfect Colorado storm and walk away with a victory in Loveland.