Highlands Ranch, CO – The Colorado State Rams got goals from nine different players, including an eight-goal explosion in the second quarter, to snap a two-game losing streak and defeat the #23 California Bears in the program’s annual Hall of Fame Game Saturday evening. CSU’s balanced scoring came despite two starting attackmen sitting out due to injuries as the Rams ran away with a 13-11 victory.
Junior midfielder Eric Uhl (The Masters School; Simsbury, CT) opened the scoring with a hard dodge down the alley, but the Bears scored three straight to take a 3-1 lead late in the first quarter. In just his fourth career start, sophomore Jake Johnson (Bridgton Academy; Lake Forest, CA) made his mark in the final minute of the first, ringing up two consecutive goals to tie the score.
Cal retook the lead early in the second quarter before the CSU offense went on a seven-goal tear over about eight minutes of game-time to take control. Junior Chris Roach (Wheat Ridge HS; Westminster, CO) accounted for two goals and one assist during the run as the Rams cycled in six different attackmen during the contest.
When the dust finally settled at the end of the first half, the Rams led 11-5 in their most productive quarter of the year, which included two man-up goals and 13 shots. CSU was perfect clearing the ball in the first half and won 10 of 18 face-offs to maintain possession and put pressure on the Cal defense.
Cal outscored CSU 6-2 over the second half, but didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome the Rams’ lead. The Bears were led by an outstanding game from midfielder Austin Shore, who scored four goals, and Nick Sheehan who had two goals and an assist.
CSU had four different players with two goals, as senior midfielder Ethan LaHoda (Monarch HS; Monarch, CO) and sophomore Alex Creech (Rocky Mountain HS; Fort Collins, CO) joined Roach and Johnson with two markers each. Senior attackman Sean Smith (Amherst HS; Amherst, NY) led all Rams with four points on a goal and three assists.
The Rams led in all areas of the scoresheet, including a 38-32 advantage in shots and 41 groundballs to Cal’s 32. CSU won 16 of 28 face-offs on the evening. CSU’s goalies combined for 10 saves while Cal’s had nine.
Colorado State (5-2 overall, 1-0 RMLC) closes their five-game home stand and prepares for a two-game road trip to Southern California to take on San Diego State and Chapman next weekend. Cal will have a quick turnaround before playing #2 Colorado on Sunday afternoon.