Colorado State Men's Lacrosse Announces 2011 Schedule

Fort Collins, CO Colorado State University has announced a 15-game regular season schedule under second-year head coach Alex Smith in 2011. This season includes four home games and a large number of tough away games for the Rams. The schedule features all four of last year's MCLA semifinal teams and 11 teams that were ranked in the Prodigy Collegelax Top 25 poll at the end of 2010.

"In terms of the competition, we are very excited about our schedule" Smith said. We are playing, in my mind, one of the most challenging schedules in the country and we wouldn't have it any other way."

"It would obviously be nice to have a few more home contests, but this is what we have to deal with since the national tournament is in Denver this year," Smith said. "But I do enjoy being on the road because it allows us to come together as a team and focus on getting better. Sometimes those home games can be a distraction."

Colorado State will have no time to ease into the season as the Rams start the season with a string of away games. First up is a trip to California during the last weekend of February to take on Cal Poly and UC-Santa Barbara. Cal Poly beat the Rams in their last match up on the road and has been steadily improving while UCSB is one of the team's biggest out of conference rivals and rarely lose at home.

The game against Colorado College is also very important to the Rams on March 5. While Colorado College is NCAA DIII and the game technically won't count for either team's record, it's always a good rivalry game and a barometer for where the teams stand. This game will be a tough contest for Colorado State against a program that has much improved under second-year coach Guy Van Arsdale.

CSU's Spring Break trip this year will only consist of two games, both in the Pacific Northwest in mid-March. The Rams have never played Simon Fraser at their home field before and the experience of going to Vancouver should be great for the team. After a few days off, CSU takes on the University of Washington in Seattle in the first match-up between the two schools since 2004.

Colorado State will undoubtedly be ready for some home cooking after being on the road for so long. On the last weekend of March, the team faces Arizona State, which is one of the best teams in the country, as well as perennial contender Arizona. The ASU game will be the team's third annual Hall of Fame Game. At this time new players will be inducted into the CSU Lacrosse Hall of Fame. CSU rounds out the weekend on Sunday against the Lax Cats.

The last out of conference trip the Rams take will be arguably the most challenging. The Rams play the three-time defending champions, the University of Michigan, as well as Michigan State on back to back days the first weekend of April. Colorado State's rivalry with Michigan is important and the team hopes to turn around some of their misfortune against them over the past three seasons. CSU turns around the next day and take on Michigan State making that weekend even more difficult as the Spartans have been on the rise for the past three years.

Finally returning home on April 9 and 11, Lindenwood and Chapman, two very high quality out of conference teams, await the Rams. This should prove to be another interesting weekend at home for Colorado State. Since beating Chapman in 2007, CSU has lost three straight to the Panthers, who have competed in three consecutive MCLA final fours.

The Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown returns to INVESCO Field in Denver on April 16. The atmosphere will be electric as the Rams face the rival Colorado Buffaloes. The game will be part of a doubleheader with NCAA Division I Denver and Ohio State. CSU beat CU in last year's showdown to avenge a loss in 2009 as these two programs fight for in-state supremacy.

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2010-11-16



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