#3 Colorado State Pulls Away from #11 UCSB

Santa Barbara, CA #3 Colorado State scored eight second half goals for the second game in a row and played solid defense down the stretch to pull away from #11 UC-Santa Barbara on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon. CSU showed another balanced effort, getting at least three points from five different players and outscoring UCSB 8-3 in the second half en route to a 13-7 decision for their fourth win of the season.

With CSU leading by just one at the break, the Rams and Gauchos went goal for goal for much of the third quarter before Colorado State got two quick ones as the quarter expired to take a 9-6 lead into the fourth quarter. UCSB notched the first goal of the final stanza, but the Rams pulled away late, scoring three goals in just over a minute to put the game away.

After playing a physical game on Friday night, CSU turned to its depth at midfield to provide a spark on Sunday. "I was worried about what it might look like today," said CSU head coach Alex Smith. "We needed our middies to show their athleticism and they stepped up in a big way." Senior Spencer Morrison scored a career and game high four points on one goal and three assists to lead all Rams.

UCSB scored early in the first quarter to open the scoring, but CSU answered back with two quick goals and never trailed after that. "I thought it was important that we made them chase us," said Smith. "They have some very talented players and we couldn't let them get on a roll. Our offense played really well without being too complicated. We were just finding the open man and making them pay for being a little out of position."

Morrison's four points was equaled by senior Cooper Kehoe's four goal effort and three Rams registered at least three points on the game as well. UCSB's Blair Bennett went off for four points of his own on two goals and two assists and CJ Jacobs led the Gauchos from the midfield with two points. Andy Flax had a career high 13 saves for CSU while UCSB's Andrew Noto registered 10 saves.

For the second game in a row the Rams won the face-off battle, taking 14 of 23 draws. Both teams struggled on man-up, going scoreless on five attempts each. The Gauchos struggled in the clearing game turning the ball over eight times in 21 attempts.

The Rams move to 4-0 on the season and will face a stiff test in NCAA Division III Colorado College next Saturday. CSU returns to MCLA competition in two weeks when they travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on Simon Fraser and Washington over Spring Break.


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