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Colorado State has Successful Showing in the Rocky Mountain Showdown

Denver, Colorado- In the 6th Annual installment of the Rocky Mountain Showdown, #10 Colorado State Rams came out victorious over #9 Lindenwood Lions by a score of 11-8. It was a great day for a game at a venue such as INVESCO Field at Mile High, and the crowd of 1,000+ was treated to a great show by both teams. “We love playing at INVESCO and we’ve done pretty well there over the years,” said Colorado State coach Flip Naumburg. “It was quite a tussle today with Lindenwood, but I expected no less. They have become an excellent program.”

The Rams have now moved to 6-0 in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. The Denver Outlaws and CSU Lacrosse Alumni Association helped make it a smooth event, and Colorado State Lacrosse can only hope to continue to work with both organizations to keep it a great tradition for many years to come. It was also the first time an NCAA Division I game has been hosted at INVESCO Field when the University of Denver Pioneers played against the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the earlier game of the doubleheader. There were a little more than 2,000 fans that attended that game. Unfortunately, the Pioneers were unable to pull out the upset as they lost 8-10 to the 4th ranked Fighting Irish. The Rams were riding the clear much more successfully today than the last couple games, and they were forcing Lindenwood to make a lot of mistakes that allowed the Rams to gather a few more possessions that led to more goals. “Unlike our last two losses we controlled the middle of the field today,” reflected Coach Naumburg. “The Lions made a few errors to help our cause as well. Lindenwood had a few excellent players that gave us trouble but I think our overall depth was important to our coming out victorious.” Lindenwood started off the game with an early goal after Sam Spallitta put one past Colorado State goalie Alex Jacques (Bainbridge Island HS; WA). The Lions controlled much of the first quarter, and it ended with a score of 2-1 in favor of Lindenwood. The second quarter is where the Rams picked up their pace. They scored two goals within the first five minutes of the quarter at the hands of Colorado State’s top two scorers, Paul Larson (Columbine HS; CO) and Cooper Kehoe (Stevenson HS; CA), to put them up 3-2. Larson led the Rams’ offense on the day, accumulating two more goals with two assists. Kehoe had three assists to go with his goal. Colorado State’s lead was short-lived at this point after Spallitta scored his second goal of the game to tie up the score at 3-3. A rare goal by Luke Miller (Regis Jesuit HS; CO) with five minutes to go in the half put the Rams up with a lead they wouldn’t let go of for the rest of the game, and Kevin Wolff (Don Bosco Prep; NJ) scored his second goal of the game with under one minute left to take the Rams into halftime with a 5-3 lead. Colorado State and Lindenwood both made goalie switches at halftime, and James Ratajczak (Fort Collins HS; CO) stepped up big in net for the Rams. He totaled 10 saves while giving up only 5 goals. Jacques didn’t have a bad game either, accumulating 4 saves while giving up only 3 goals. “James Ratajczak really came in and gave us a spark in the second half today,” commented assistant coach Alex Smith. “He really made some nice saves that gave us some momentum. I’m happy for him that he was able to make a difference today.” The Rams continued their offensive effort into the third period, with Garrett Fugier (Regis Jesuit HS; CO) starting off the scoring with his first of two goals on the day. Larson had the other two goals in the quarter for the Rams. Lindenwood wouldn’t go away in the dark, however, as they scored two goals of their own as the quarter came to a close with a score of 8-5 in favor of the Rams. “Today, we started a little slow, but we found some rhythm in the second and third quarters,” noted Smith. “When it was 8-5 at the start of the fourth, we wanted to make sure we didn’t have a repeat of the Duluth game, so even though we didn’t play our best in the fourth, we certainly made an improvement there.” The Rams succeeded in preventing a repeat of Duluth as they kept their offense going into the fourth quarter with a goal from Fugier and two from Joel Tromburg (Heritage HS; CO). However, they couldn’t put the game any further out of reach since every time they scored Lindenwood came right back with a goal from Kyle Bazansky, who ended up with three goals in the quarter and in the game. After losing in a blowout in the first matchup between these schools several years back, Lindenwood has come a long way since. Although they are yet to beat Colorado State, they are providing more and more of a challenge to the Rams. “Lindenwood is a good team with some very nice talent at just about every position – especially on offense,” said Smith. “It’s important to be on your toes all the time against a team like that, and we hung tough on defense. We still have some stuff to clean up with stick-work, but hopefully that will continue to improve as we head down the home stretch.”

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