MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–The men’s lacrosse team at the University of Minnesota (6-3, 2-1 CCLA) remain in the Top-25 after getting swept in their Colorado trip this past weekend. The Gophers lost 18-12 to No. 8 Colorado (3-2) on Friday night, and lost 9-8 in a heartbreaker to No. 6 Colorado State (4-1) Sunday afternoon.
On Friday night, the Gophers struck first with a goal from Trenton Woodcock off a feed from Nick Abbott. However, the Buffs answered with a 5-goal run. Sophomore midfielder Grant Edwards stopped the run with thirty seconds remaining in the first, beating Buffs goalie Jensen Makarov with a rocket of a shot to the top left corner. On the following faceoff, Nathan Monsein’s hustle won the Gophers the ground ball and he scored ten seconds later to bring the score 5-3 Buffs, at the end of the first quarter.
Minnesota and Colorado then traded a couple goals throughout the second quarter until the Buffs went on a 7-goal run to bring the Gophers to a 9-goal deficit with 4:47 left in the third with a score of 14-5. Despite outscoring Colorado 7-4 in the remaining 19 minutes in the game, the deficit was too large for Minnesota to overcome.
Amar Batra had a game high 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists), while Woodcock had his second hat trick of the season. Bodhi Engum and Nick Abbott finished with 3 points each (1 goal, 2 assists). Matt Johnson contributed a goal, and Chandler Sampson added 2 goals as well.
Niklas Damberg made an unexpected return to play this weekend after leaving the game against Michigan State the previous weekend with an arm injury. He was expected to miss several weeks with a hairline fracture. Damberg went 14-30 (.467) at the X and collected a game high 7 ground balls.
Matt Jorgensen stopped 18 of 36 shots on cage. The senior goaltender, who is currently Minnesota’s all-time leader in saves, is the first Gopher to surpass the 500 career save milestone.
COLORADO STATE RECAP
On Sunday, Minnesota lost a heartbreaking game to #6 Colorado State with a score 9-8. The Gophers, who were looking to rebound off of Friday night’s loss, led the Rams for 56:30 of the 60 minutes of play. The Gophers started the game strong with a goal from Bodhi Engum off a feed from Amar Batra two and a half minutes into the opening quarter. Minnesota then capitalized on its first extra-man opportunity as Engum fed Trenton Woodcock to bring the Gophers up 2-0. Matt Johnson added another before the Rams were able to score their first goal at the end of the first quarter.
Engum scored his second goal of the game and Kamal Baker scored his third goal of the season during the second quarter, while CSU added two of their own. Nick Abbott joined the scoring column five minutes into the third quarter, and Johnson completed his first hat trick as a Gopher by adding two more goals. By the end of the third quarter, the Gophers were up 8-5.
However, the Gophers ran into penalty trouble during the fourth quarter. With the Gophers down two men from a holding penalty, and a non-releasable illegal body check, the Rams capitalized with 2 goals, and were able to bring themselves within one. Colorado State was able to tie the game with 1:08 remaining. The Gophers won the ensuing faceoff, however the Rams were able to force a turnover. After a CSU timeout with possession, the Rams ran a last minute play. Rams attackman A.J. Stewart dodged from X and ran around the crease where Gopher defenseman Nick Fix was able to dislodge the ball with a trail check. However, Stewart was able to corral the loose ball and scored the game winner for the Rams with 2 seconds remaining in the game.
Matt Jorgensen faced a barrage of shots, making 19 of his career high 25 saves during the second half, while the Gopher defense in addition blocked a season high 5 shots.
The Gophers will have a short break before returning to action at home with a conference match up against Central Michigan on Friday, March 31.