Apr 2, 2021 | SPORTS | By Zeke Lloyd | Photos by Anil Jergens
Fourteen seconds into the second overtime, Colorado Mesa University’s (CMU) men’s lacrosse team scored the winning goal against Colorado College. The ongoing tie was broken after the first face-off of the period.
“It was unfortunate. Sometimes the ball just bounces and you don’t get it,” attacker John Sutro ’21 said. “They picked it up, executed a fast break, and did it well.”
The Tigers had been in the lead for much of the match, even though this was one of their toughest opponents yet. Colorado Mesa University’s play style was aggressive, and their offense challenged the Tigers right away.
“They threw us a look we hadn’t seen before, and definitely took us some time to adjust early in the game,” Sutro said. “We only scored one in the first quarter.”
Despite CMU’s strong showing, the Tigers led 7-4 at halftime. The lead, however, was slowly chipped away, and at end of third quarter, the Tigers were only up by one.
Seizing the momentum, Colorado Mesa University went up 12-11 with only a few minutes to go in the last quarter. After an impressive drive down the field, midfielder Conrad Song ’21 scored the tying goal.
“Obviously Conrad had a great, great dodge there,” Sutro said. “He is one of the seniors on the team. He’s got talent, but also he’s been there before; I think his composure is very good.”
The remaining time in the fourth quarter saw no goals scored, and overtime began.
This was the first overtime the Tigers have seen this season. In fact, eight of the nine prior games ended with double-digit margins. After winning the previous game 29-6, this was a very different experience for this year’s team.
“It’s something you can’t ever simulate; your nerves get up and you feel little butterflies in your stomach,” Sutro said. “At the end of the day, I think everybody at the collegiate level has been there before. They more look at it as a great opportunity to demonstrate their skills.”
Though no goals were scored during the first overtime, it was a physically intensive period.
“Our defense was challenged right off the bat,” LSM Sam DiMaio ’22 said. DiMaio credits goaltender Ben Anastos ’24 for playing an integral part of the Tigers defense. CC also applied impressive offensive pressure against CMU, though none of the shots attempted made it passed Mesa’s goaltender. At the end of first period, the game was still tied.
Colorado Mesa University’s quick goal at the beginning of the second overtime was certainly a disheartening way for the hard-fought game to end. There is a lot to consider moving forward.
“We just had a really tough loss, people are going to start to doubt us for losing to a D2 team despite how good they are,” Sutro said. “I think that everyone is super excited to hit the road and for the opportunity to redeem ourselves.”
Not only are there six games left in the regular season, but CC is also scheduled for a rematch against CMU on the April 16. DiMaio expressed how excited the team was for the chance to play Colorado Mesa University again. The game will be the sixth matchup between the two teams. At the moment, CC is 2-3 against CMU.
“We’ll get some more fire, more intensity,” Sutro said. “The biggest opportunity that I think everyone is really happy about is to get to play them again in a couple weeks at Grand Junction. Everybody is looking forward to that.”