CSU Aims for a Different Kind of Repeat
Colorado State has advanced to the US Lacrosse WCLA National Championship game for the third straight year.
© Cecil Copeland
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado State has been in this position many times before, but never quite like this. The Rams will gun for a third straight US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) Division I National Championship on Saturday, but this tournament they’ve had to play the role as favorite after winning it all as the No. 11 seed in 2010 and as the No. 6 seed with a young team last year.
“It’s terrifying, honestly,” said head coach Lindsey Hudek, a player on CSU’s 2010 championship team. “I think my girls work hard and they deserve it, but they know they have to fight to keep that number one. It’s not going to just happen.”
The Rams, who beat Florida Club 15-8 in Friday’s semifinal, will put their championship streak on the line on Saturday at 10:30 am (the game time was moved up due to the threat of thunderstorms in the area) at the El Pomar Sports Park against UC-Davis Club, which bested Michigan 11-10 in overtime in the other semifinal. The championships are being sponsored by Harrow Sports.
CSU got an early boost in its semifinal win over Florida from freshman Ali Slyne. Slyne scored thee of CSU’s first five goals as the Rams moved out to a 5-1 lead. Yesterday, Slyne watched her older sister, Karly, go down with a knee injury.
“I could tell from her face she was going to go down and it was pretty bad,” said Ali Slyne. “She was a big loss for today.”
Karly Slyne was on the sideline on crutches and her teammates all had her number, 23, written on their calves, but like her sister, the Rams stepped up to fill the void.
CSU led 5-2 at the half and Hayley Bernstein and Maddie Garcia poured it on in the second half. Both CSU players scored four second-half goals and Bernstein finished with a game-high six points on five goals and an assist.
Over the years, CSU has become known at the WCLA level for its zone defense, but Bernstein and Garcia are two of the key players helping to switch that identity. Colorado State has combined for 53 goals in its three tournament victories.
“That was kind of my goal coming in,” said Hudek, who is in her first year as head coach. “When I used to play for this team, it was all about the defense. I thought why not have a strong defense, and a strong offense. That was really what we worked on this year. We focused on it, and the girls really took to that and improved.”
CSU will meet a potential team of destiny in the semifinals. UC-Davis’ semifinal win against Michigan was its second straight overtime win in the tournament.
Michigan held UC-Davis scoreless for nearly 24 minutes to open
the game, taking a 5-0 lead before Louise Marquino finally scored
for UC-Davis with 6:07 left in the first half.
“Michigan forced us to adjust,” said UC-Davis coach Eric Vaolis. “The will to win allowed [our players] to adjust. They did whatever it took to make it, and they did a great job. We just needed that first goal for confidence.”
UC Davis came all the way back to take a 9-8 lead with 9:13 to go, but after Michigan tied it 9-9 with 8:24 remaining in regulation, UC Davis won the ensuing draw and burned off most of the clock to try and hold for one shot. They got off a shot, but it went wide and Michigan got the ball and a transition opportunity the other way, that resulted in a free position opportunity with two seconds remaining. UC Davis freshman goalie Amy Corstorphine came up with a huge save, one of 11 on the day for her, to send it into overtime.
“I was nervous, but I had confidence in our goalie to make that save,” said Valois. “We have a great goalie in cage that we can always rely on.”
UC Davis took a 10-9 lead on a goal by Kristi Irgens with 1:18 left in the first overtime, but Michigan came back to tie it at 2:04 of the second overtime on a free position shot by Julianne Patterson. Patterson won the ensuing draw for Michigan and the Wolverines maintained possession of the ball with under a minute to play. A charging violation turned it over and led to a UC-Davis’ fastbreak opportunity, and Marquino netted the game-winner with just 11 seconds left off a pass from Irgens.
Marquino finished with three goals, along with Jessica Dresser, and Molly Fensterwald had four assists for the Aggies. Ani Shekerjian had three goals and an assist for Michigan and Alaina Mezwa also had three goals.
That sets the stage for Saturday’s championship game between Colorado State and UC Davis. Colorado State beat UC Davis 10-9 at the Santa Barbara Shootout in February in a game where the Aggies played the final 19 minutes a player down after getting four cards.
“The good thing for us is they play the exact same defense that Michigan does,” said Valois. “They play that zone-backer, high-pressure in-your-face style defense. That’s going to be huge for us, knowing that we can beat that kind of zone.”
Recaps of the Division I consolation games follow:
UC Santa Barbara 13, Central Florida 10: UC Santa Barbara was held scoreless for the first 13 minutes of the game, but came back to beat Central Florida 13-10. Katie Mitchell scored five goals to lead UCSB and Lindsay Remigio and Jordan Venetis each scored three goals. Lauren Aymat led Central Florida with three goals.
Santa Clara 12, UCLA 10: Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held UCLA at bay for the remainder of the game in a 12-10 victory. After UCLA’s Morgan Oberstein cut the Santa Clara lead to 8-6 with 23:17 left, the Broncos scored the next four goals to put it out of reach. Maggie Burke had four goals and an assist and Maria Pestana had a goal and four assists for Santa Clara. Broncos goalie Katy Lydens made 11 saves. Oberstein led the Bruins with three goals.
Colorado 16, Chapman 10: Colorado held Chapman scoreless for the first 20 minutes of the game and defeated the Panthers 16-10. Andie Solomon had five goals and an assist for Colorado and Sarah Shea added three goals and an assist. Delaine Debeer had three goals and Lauren Mah had two goals and two assists.
BYU 15, Texas 13 (OT): Kristen Lund scored with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime and then scored the first of four straight BYU goals in the overtime periods to lead the Cougars past Texas 15-13. Brooke Smith, who assisted Lund’s game-tying goal, added a goal and an assist in overtime and finished the game with six goals and two assists. Lund and Jordan Haws each had three goals. Clayton Crum led Texas with seven goals and two assists and Kenner Smith had three goals.
Penn State Club 13, Oregon Club 7: Penn State Club scored four straight goals to open both halves on its way to a 13-7 win over Oregon Club. Ellie Hanlon led the Nittany Lions with three goals and an assist and Cate Hanberry added two goals and an assist. Samantha Moullet had two goals and an assist for Oregon and Ducks’ goalie Cristen Shope made 13 saves.
Minnesota 14, Virginia Club 9: Krista Nelson scored five goals to lead Minnesota past Virginia Club 14-9. Trailing 6-4 late in the first half, Minnesota then held Virginia scoreless for a span of 17 minutes to take a 10-6 lead. Virginia cut it to two goals on occasions, but Minnesota scored the final three goals of the game to wrap up the victory. Marielle Sundbo made 11 saves for the Gophers. Caroline Gibson led Virginia with three goals.
Scores for Friday, May 11
Division I Semifinals
Colorado State 15, Florida Club 8
UC-Davis Club 11, Michigan 10 (OT)
Division I Consolation Games
Colorado 16, Chapman 10
BYU 15, Texas 13 (OT)
Penn State Club 13, Oregon Club 7
Minnesota 14, Virginia Club 9
Santa Clara 12, UCLA 10
UC Santa Barbara 13, Central Florida 10
Schedule for Saturday, May 12 (Note time changes to some games from original schedule)
Division I Games
15th place game: Oregon Club vs. Virginia Club, 8 am, Field 5
13th place game: Minnesota vs. Penn State Club, 8 am, Field 3
11th place game: Chapman vs. Texas, 8 am, Field 2
9th place game: BYU vs. Colorado, 12:30 pm, Field 3
7th place game: Central Florida vs. UCLA, 8 am, Field 4
5th place game: Santa Clara vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9 am, Field 2 (Updated)
3rd place game: Florida Club vs. Michigan, 12:30 pm, Field 1
Championship game: Colorado State vs. UC-Davis Club, 10:30 am, Field 1
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