Colorado College Tops Whittier in Western Clash
from press release
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior attackman Moses Taylor struck for five goals in the second half to help Colorado College pull away for an emotional 11-6 victory over Whittier College on Senior Day at Washburn Field.
Not only did the Tigers retain possession of the Locker-Stabler Cup, which is presented in honor of the former head coaches Doug Locker and Robert 'Doc' Stabler, they made sure the senior class finished its career on a winning note.
Taylor scored on five of seven shots in a little more than 15 minutes to fuel a 7-2 run that began after the Poets pulled to within 4-3 early in the third quarter on the first of three goals by senior midfielder Sam Russell.
Taylor's behind-the-back effort with 37 seconds remaining in the third quarter proved to be his fifth game-winning goal of the season. He capped his career with 4:15 to play, leaving his feet to catch a pass from junior attacker Steve Rijo and unleashing a behind-the-head shot in one motion.
"It shows you how much that heart he has," head coach Sean Woods said. "He's had an unbelievable season and an unbelievable career. To go out on senior day with a separated shoulder and have that kind of performance, it brings tears to my eyes. It shows you how much he cares about Colorado College lacrosse."
Whittier took an early lead on a man-up tally by sophomore midfielder Hunter Hall and doubled its advantage when senior attacker Daniel McQuade scored with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
"It was nerves," Woods said. "On senior day when there is this much emotion and you have a special class like this involved, our whole team was nervous because we really wanted this game so bad for them. I knew we would settle into the game, it just took a little longer than we wanted."
Freshman midfielder Henri Halle put the Tigers on the board with a man-up goal 1:38 into the second quarter and freshman midfielder Nick Ahrens tied the game midway through the period when he fought his way out from behind the Whittier goal and beat senior goaltender Robert Bazlen from a tough angle high on the short side.
Senior attackman Hunter Sprole put CC ahead just before halftime when he picked up a loose ball behind the Poets' cage and scored on a low shot from the right side. Halle gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead with his second man-up tally 1:07 into the second half.
Sophomore midfielder Jack Kreitler added a goal and an assist during the second half, while junior attackman Steve Rijo set up a pair of goals.
Sophomore goaltender Zach Steedman made five saves before giving way to Jeff Moore with 38 seconds remaining in the game.
Senior defender Zach Pierce caused three turnovers and grabbed a pair of ground balls. Freshman midfielder Kevin Wylie won eight of 14 faceoffs and finished with a game-high eight ground balls.
CC held an opponent to fewer than 10 goals for the 13th time in 15 games.
"The defensive performance is a credit to seniors Zach Pierce and Ian Coughlan," Woods said. "They really shut Whittier down. They've been playing like that all year long. It was no surprise they went out and played so well today."
Bazlen made nine of his 13 saves during the first half. He also caused a pair of turnovers and led the Poets with six ground balls.
"Whittier is a first-class lacrosse team," Woods said. "They're coaching staff does a great job and run a great program. For us to come back after a gut-wrenching loss in the SCAC championship game and play the way we did today, it's a testament to the leaders that we have on the team. Most teat teams would have packed it in, but our leaders made sure we didn't do that."
Colorado College finished the season with a 12-3 record, while Whittier slipped to 6-5.
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