#2 Colorado State Surges to Down #3 BYU for RMLC Title

PROVO, Utah. The #2 Colorado State Rams used a 9-3 second half run and a season-high eight points from RMLC Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kehoe to capture their sixth RMLC Championship with a 15-10 win over #4 Brigham Young in Provo, UT Saturday afternoon. The win marked CSU's first conference title since their 8-7 win over Colorado in 2006 and should assure the team of a high seed in the upcoming national tournament to be held at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver, CO.

BYU led 7-6 at halftime, but Colorado State turned up the heat in the second half. Kehoe's effort was coupled with a stalwart defensive performance to help the Rams beat BYU for the second time in as many weeks. CSU took an 11-10 lead into the fourth quarter and then added four more in the final frame to seal the win.

After the Rams jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter, BYU surged in the second, scoring six goals to take the 7-6 lead into halftime. BYU midfielder Elliot Grow had a hand in four of the goals on his way to a two goal, five assist performance. "The second quarter was not our best, that's for sure," said CSU coach Alex Smith. "But we really responded well in the second half and I couldn't be more proud of this team for fighting out this victory."

Kehoe's eight point explosion came mostly in the form of assists as the junior racked up six helpers on the day. His last three of the day all came to fellow attackman Paul Larson as CSU pulled away in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Larson finished the day with five goals and one assist while midfielders Garrett Fugier and Greyson Konkel each added four points as well.

BYU dominated much of the possession in the game, using a smart and efficient ride as well as a dominating effort by Dan Cole at the face-off 'x' to keep CSU on defense. But when the Rams did get opportunities, they buried them, scoring their 15 goals on just 29 total shots. "This was definitely one of our better shooting days," said Smith. "They have a very capable goaltender and I think we did a great job of breaking the defense down and converting."

Colorado State's extra-man offense was a major factor in the game, scoring on its first four opportunities. "We've struggled a bit on man-up after starting really strong this year," said Smith. "I liked the way we approached that facet of the game today. Now if we can improve on the clearing game a bit and start to get back in the groove on face-offs, we can really be a threat."

Alex Jacques, who was named RMLC Co-Defensive Player of the Year along with CSU defender Andrew Stein, pitched in with 15 saves. BYU's Will Hilton struggled, making only three saves on the day.

The Rams (16-2) will await the final decision by the MCLA National Tournament Selection committee to learn their first opponent on Tuesday, May 11. The tournament will be at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO from May 11-15.


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