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Instant replay is rare in club sports, but Invesco Field at Mile High provided the luxury on its big screens during the fourth annual Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown on April 21. Unfortunately, the CU men’s club lacrosse team did not have much to watch over again.
The Colorado Buffaloes (13-4, 2-2) fell to the Colorado State Rams (12-2, 3-1) in the team’s regular-season finale, 5-13.
CU tallied 33 shots and 37 ground balls during the game, while in-state rival CSU had 30 shots and 35 ground balls.
“CSU played great, and I give them all the credit in the world. They were the better team tonight,” CU head coach John Galvin said.
The Rams took an early lead after scoring on their first possession 40 seconds into the first quarter. CU answered when junior Tyler Baruch scored with 13:32 remaining in the quarter.
CSU responded quickly with another goal of its own and built a solid lead throughout the first half.
CU failed to find the back of the net again until the fourth quarter.
“We just got beat. We got down early and tried to fight back, but CSU just kept coming at us,” Baruch said. “We got out of our rhythm. We have a settle-down offense, but we did not run our style of play.”
The attackman scored a total of two goals during the contest.
The Buffs employed a zone defense to start the game, but CSU’s offensive control forced the team to alter its defensive approach, Galvin said.
“We thought the zone would work right away, and it didn’t,” he said. “We went to a man-to-man defense to pressure them a little harder, which I think worked a lot better. But the transition killed us.”
Colorado also had difficulty scoring with the man-advantage. The team received five man-advantage opportunities and failed to capitalize. CSU produced one goal on three man-advantage opportunities.
CU entered the locker room at halftime facing a 1-6 deficit and continued to struggle throughout much of the third quarter. The team persisted and scored its second goal of the game to open the fourth quarter, making it 2-9.
“We’ve got great senior leadership that helps us keep our focus, and they have a lot of good things to say even when we are down,” Baruch said.
The men in black and gold finally established some consistency in the final quarter by adding three more goals.
“The mentality that we are not going to give in to anything and we are not going to give up is something we work on all year long,” Galvin said.
CSU continued to press forward, and the Rams secured the victory after scoring four more times before the final buzzer sounded.
Goaltender Kevin Moriarty made eight saves for the Buffs. The sophomore led the RMLC with a .645 save percentage going into the game and was replaced after allowing CSU to score its 12th goal with 5:05 remaining.
Both teams will now prepare for the RMLC Championships in Boulder on May 3-5.
“We’ll be playing CSU again in two weeks, and now we know that we need to work harder,” Galvin said. “We got outcoached and outplayed tonight, and we need to prepare ourselves better in every aspect of the game.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Corey Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.