MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.––The No. 22 Minnesota men’s lacrosse team (6-1 overall, 2-1 CCLA) will travel to Colorado to visit No. 8 Colorado (1-2) and No. 6 Colorado State (2-1). Faceoff against Colorado will be at 7:00pm (MT) on Friday, and at 1:00pm (MT) on Sunday versus Colorado State.
Last weekend, the Gophers traveled to Michigan for a trio of games and finished 2-1. In their first game, they faced conference opponent and the then No. 18 Michigan State. The Gophers led 2-0 after the first quarter, however the Spartans answered with a 6-1 run in the second. The Gophers were down 10-4 midway through the fourth quarter until senior attackman Bodhi Engum began to lead a comeback by scoring three goals in a span of 68 seconds. Amar Batra then scored with five minutes left, and Engum scored his fifth goal of the game with under two minutes remaining. The Spartans were then received a slashing penalty with 1:03 left on the clock, giving the Gophers a man-up opportunity. However, after a fury of shots and spectacular saves made by Spartans goalie Kevin Boland, the Gophers were unable to complete their comeback and lost 10-9.
The following night, Minnesota rebounded from their loss and defeated Oakland 25-9. Amar Batra led all Gophers with 8 points (2g, 6a). However the highlight of the game was the contributions made off the bench. Sophomore attackman Shaun Van Sloun had a career high 5 points (4g, 1a). Junior attackman Grant Oie also recorded a career high of 7 points (4g, 3a). Midfielder Ely Harel and Garrett Lieb scored their first collegiate goals, while Lieb finished with 3 points (2g, 1a). Grant Edwards also notched a 3 point game with 2 goals and 1 assist. Midfielders Riley Sanocki and Chandler Sampson each scored 2 goals. Carter Kasianov, Colin Murdock, and Alex Wohl each contributed 1 goal. Sophomore goalie Max Chlan played the full 60 minutes and had 6 saves.
With their third and final game of the weekend, Minnesota finished with a dominating 14-1 victory over Indiana. The Gophers outshot the Hoosiers 53-20 and were able to hold them to 6 of 21 clearing attempts. Minnesota was up 10-0 midway through the third quarter until the Hoosiers got on board with a shot off a dodge down the alley to prevent the shutout. Amar Batra led the Gophers with his second consecutive 8-point game (4g, 4a). Bodhi Engum led all scorers with 5 goals and added 2 assists. Chandler Sampson scored a career high 4 goals, while Trent Woodcock scored 1. Defensively, Nick Fix led with 8 ground balls and Clay Diedrich had 4 caused turnovers. Senior netminder Matt Jorgensen finished with 9 saves in the game.
The No. 8 Colorado Buffaloes are coming off an 0-2 Arizona trip with a 14-11 loss to No. 2 Grand Canyon, and a 11-7 loss to No. 13 Arizona State. The Buffs have 4 national championship game appearances in the last twenty years, and have won one (2014). They are led by their head coach, John Galvin, who in his eight year has a combined record of 90-39. They return 4 out of their 7 All-Americans from 2016: midfielder Jake Gonzales, defenseman Penn Lukens, attackman Ben Wharton, and goalie Jenson Makarov.
#22 Minnesota at #8 Colorado
Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 3 || 7:00 p.m. (MT)
Location: Kittredge Field (Boulder, Colo.)
COLORADO STATE PREVIEW
The No. 6 Colorado State Rams are led by second year head coach Ted Fifield. Last season, the Rams finished 10-5 and were eliminated in the first round of the national tournament by Arizona State. The Rams have made 9 national championship game appearances, and leads the MCLA with 6 national championships (1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2012, and 2013). They are coming off an Arizona trip with a 9-8 win over No. 13 Arizona State, and a 7-6 loss to No. 2 Grand Canyon. The Rams currently have 5 of their 7 All-Americans from 2016.
#22 Minnesota at #6 Colorado State
Date/Time: Sunday, Mar. 5 || 1:00 p.m. (MT)
Location: Loveland Sports Park (Loveland, Colo.)
Senior goalie Matt Jorgensen is 5 saves away from the 500-mark. Jorgensen is currently Minnesota’s all-time leader in saves.
Ted Fifield is no stranger to the Gophers. Fifield was an assistant at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2013 and 2014, during which the Badgers were a combined 0-2 against the Gophers.
In addition, Colorado State has one Minnesotan on their roster, sophomore goalie Frank Culhane. Culhane is a graduate of Washburn High School and former teammate of current Gopher Garrett Lieb.
Speaking of Minneapolis alumni, senior midfielder Nathan Monsein has been named as an additional captain for Minnesota. Monsein, the do-it-all midfielder, has been a swiss army knife for the Gophers and a vital player in the Gophers’ defense. Through seven games this season, Monsein has 1 assist, 19 ground balls, and is 12 for 24 at the faceoff x.
BATRA CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Freshman attackman Amar Batra currently leads the nation in goals with 24. He ranks second in points (41) and fifth in points-per-game (5.587). Batra has broken the Minnesota freshman points record previously held by Kevin Bice, who recorded 40 in 2006.