It was a picturesque day in Boise, Idaho as the sun shined brightly and two Top 10 MCLA lacrosse teams battled it out on the blue turf at Boise State University. #5 Colorado faced off against #8 Oregon in an early season match-up that displayed a great deal of promise for the future of both teams.
Oregon started off hot and always found a way to answer Buff goals throughout most of the game. Early in the second half, the Ducks jumped out to a two goal lead, then suddenly fell flat for the remainder of the 3rd quarter. Colorado, organized and determined, found a way to answer quickly, then quickly again after that (just like Josh Dionne’s goal last year against Virginia).
The score was 5-5 by the end of the 3rd quarter, and it was clear the game was going to come down to which team played with more heart.
As the low score suggests, this game was a defensive battle. In the first half, players were chippy and there were a few sloppy moments of play. But by the second half players on both sides of the ball were firing on all cylinders and putting their athleticism on full display.
Once the game was tied up in the second half, Coach Galvin’s disciplined Buffs showed their strength, sparked by senior leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Danny Schatz seemed to be everywhere on the field, checking sticks, sliding to dodgers, and scooping up ground balls – his physical play alone was intimidating. Meanwhile goalie Bradley Macnee kept his head up after every Oregon goal and his team naturally followed suit.
In the waning moments of regulation, the Buffs never stopped. With 10 seconds left, senior midfielder Ryan Haines took a dodge down the left alley and ripped a shot low and away. Ducks’ goalie Stephen Oppenheimer got a piece of it, but the ball bounced outside of the crease. As it was quickly picked up and shot into the back of the net, the horn sounded just a second too soon – time for bonus lacrosse!
Overtime would only need one possession to decide the game. Freshman LSM Clark Salamie won his most important face-off of the game and ran the ball down to his waiting attackman. After a quick spin, it would end with a beautiful stick side high rip by sophomore midfielder Greg Kelsic.
With a dominating 18-4 win over Boise State on Friday and Saturdays overtime victory against the Ducks, it’s tough to argue that the Buffs aren’t red hot right now.
Oregon takes on in-conference rival Boise State on the blue Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Next up for the Buffs is Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, March 5th.