#5 BYU Downs #2 CSU in Regular Season Finale

PROVO, Utah No. 5 Brigham Young used a smothering ride and patient offense to overcome a 3-2 halftime deficit and upend No. 2 Colorado State in an RMLC contest Saturday evening. BYU scored six straight goals in the second half and kept the Rams from clearing the ball a staggering 13 times to run away with the 8-5 win in CSU's final regular season game of 2011.

Even with some sloppy play in the opening quarters, CSU managed to take a 3-2 lead into halftime thanks to some opportunistic offense from Austin Fisher, who had a hand in all three first half goals. However, the Rams struggled to clear all night long and had a lukewarm night at the face-off 'x,' both of which led to continued BYU possessions and eventually wore down CSU.

In the third quarter, those extra opportunities finally began to pay off for the Cougars as they pounded home four straight goals, including two from Andrew Harding to close the period. BYU led 6-3 at the end of the third and then held off an uneven run by CSU in the fourth to gain the key RMLC victory.

"We really didn't come to play tonight, unfortunately," said CSU head coach Alex Smith. "All the credit to BYU. They won all the little battles that made up the game. We couldn't win key face-offs or groundballs and they really were effective on their ride. It's disappointing that we didn't have the ball more because our offense has been playing really well in 6 on 6 situations."

The Rams lost their eighth game in the last ten to the Cougars, despite sweeping the series in 2010. Fisher led the Rams with three points while Cooper Kehoe also chipped in with three points. BYU was led by Ted Ferrin's two goals and three assists and Harding's four goals. Senior Andy Flax made seven saves in net for the Rams while BYU split time in goal, getting six total saves from Wes Goar and Matt Brandenburg.

"I felt like a lot of the inconsistencies we have in practice were exposed tonight," said Smith. "We are a good lacrosse team, but we always talk about playing the way that you practice. It wasn't an excuse that we played last night. The entire MCLA is built on winning not only games on back to back days, but four games in five days to win the whole thing. We have tried to simulate that all year with our schedule. Losing this game lets us see some of the things we need to work on going into the RMLC tourney in two weeks."

Colorado State finishes the regular season at 14-2 and will very likely be the #2 seed in the upcoming RMLC playoffs in Grand Junction. If BYU beats Utah next weekend in the RMLC regular season finale, Colorado State will face Colorado in a rematch of the April 16 Rocky Mountain Showdown a game the Rams held on to win 9-8 after squandering an 8-3 halftime lead. RMLC playoffs face-off on Friday, May 6 and conclude on Saturday, May 7 on the campus of Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo.


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