Brigham Young Hands Colorado State Opening Round RMLC Loss
Boulder, Colorado- Playing as if it could have been their last game of the season, Colorado State left it all on the field in their RMLC opening round loss to conference rival Brigham Young, 7-12. The Rams played with a passion and excitement for the game and an intensity that has not been present in the past few games.<!--more--> Despite the difference in score, according to assistant coach Alex Smith, "defensively and offensively, this is probably the best we've played in some time. We had some breakdowns early in the game, but we hung in there nicely towards the end. I thought we did a good job of clearing and riding and just playing hard-nosed lacrosse. Offensively, Kevin Wolff was great for us and he really got us going early on. It's too bad we had to play catch-up all day today." The score doesn’t do justice to the way the game was played. The stats would show it as a much more evenly played game, with the exception of one stat that can make a big difference in the outcome: Brigham Young scored on 3 out of 9 extra man opportunities compared to 0 out of 4 for Colorado State. The groundballs were even at 35 apiece and Colorado State was more successful on clears, which could have given them more possessions leading to more scores, but Brigham Young goalies, Will Hilton and D.J. Sullivan, made some key saves in the game to limit Colorado State’s scoring. Brigham Young won the first groundball of the game, and maintained control for much of the first quarter. They scored the first two goals of the game, which has been a good projector of who would win the game during Colorado State’s season. They finished the first quarter with a 5-2 lead. Colorado State played better in the second quarter, and two goals by Kevin Wolff (Don Bosco Prep; NJ) moved the score closer by a goal to take it into halftime down 4-6. Wolff, who was the offensive star for the Rams, scored his third goal of the game in the first quarter. Their momentum continued into the third quarter, and came within one goal of the Cougars two minutes into the third after Luke Miller (Regis Jesuit HS; CO) put one past Sullivan, but they weren’t able to capitalize on offensive opportunities to even up the score. "I thought we really fought hard today,” noted Smith. “There were a couple moments that we just couldn't quite capitalize on when the score was 6-5 and that would have made a big difference. I think BYU played better than they did the last time we played, but so did we. We still have some fight left in us and hopefully we get a chance to show what we're made of next week." The game stayed at 6-5 in favor of the Cougars until Kent Mann scored two of his three goals in six minutes to increase Brigham Young’s lead to 8-5. Colorado State was able to score one more goal before it started to fall apart for them. With less than one minute left in the quarter, two Rams were involved in penalties that allowed Brigham Young a 2-man up advantage, which they took advantage of to put the score at 9-6 in their favor. That’s how the fourth quarter went; two of BYU’s three goals in the quarter came on 2-man up advantages. Colorado State wasn’t able to score in the fourth quarter until there were eight seconds left in the game, just a bit too late to start a comeback. Colorado State will have their fingers crossed in hopes of getting an invite to play in the MCLA playoffs. In the latest polls, the Rams are listed at #11, which will pit them against Colorado, who sits at #6 in the polls, for a potential rematch of the in-state rivalry game that saw Colorado coming out on top for the first time in a decade. The official seeds, however, won’t come out until Monday morning. I don't want to politick for our team too much, but we've definitely had some adversity this year and I think our kids have just been great,” commented Smith. “I'm very proud of the way they have handled everything and I really hope we get one more shot because we aren't done fighting yet. Today's game to me shows that we at least belong in the conversation, so the best we can do is stay positive and hope for the best when the seeds come out."