CSU keeps Gauchos from national title match

By Sheila Mikailli

Scottsdale, AZ – No. 6 Colorado State beat the No. 7-ranked UCSB women’s lacrosse team 10-7 in the WCLA National Championship Tournament semifinals at the Scottsdale Sports Complex this Friday, making it the second time that CSU has eliminated the Gauchos from national championship contention. The Rams won 8-7 over UCSB in the quarterfinals last season.

UCSB was down 3-6 at the half only to comeback with three straight goals to tie the game at 6-6 with 12:50 remaining. The Gauchos held the Rams scoreless for more than 20 minutes until CSU finally broke through to score. Upon extending out on defense in hopes of pressuring CSU’ s offense, the Gauchos instead opened up the scoring area, allowing Colorado State to score three more goals and seal the 10-7 win.

Junior goalie Jeni Centner had 12 saves to keep UCSB in the game while senior middlefielder Alyssa Nelsen lead the team in scoring with 2 goals. The Gauchos were 6 of 15 on shots from the field and 1 for 8 on free position shots.

“We did a great job on defense and in the cage for the majority of this game,” Head Coach Paul Ramsey said, “ But really we needed to finish more of our opportunities on offense.”

According to Ramsey, Colorado State’ s late or post-season zone defense causes problems for opposing offenses. A defender is always on ball while the other six defenders wait in assigned zone spots for any drives or passes that make it inside the scoring area. Their frenetic pressure and the collapse on every ball took UCSB out of their normal game plan.

The Gauchos beat No. 10 University of Texas 16-10 on Wednesday night before defeating No. 2 Florida 12-11 in an improbably comeback in overtime on Thursday night to give UCSB a WCLA National Championship Tournament quarterfinal win.

Senior attacker Ashley Antoon-Algieri scored her 100th point of the season Thursday night. It marks the first time in four years that a UCSB player has reached the 100 point plateau. For her career Antoon-Algieri has 202 goals and 92 assists, a total of 294 points.

Antoon-Algieri made her third All-American team, having been named First Team her sophomore and junior years as well. Four other Gauchos made All American, including were junior attack Maegan Cruse, junior goalie Jeni Centner, sophomore midfielder Katie Mitchell, and sophomore defense Emilia Norlin. The five Gauchos were also named to Western Women’s Lacrosse League All-League teams in the WWLL awards ceremony on April 18th.

Freshman midfielder Blair Evans made the all tournament team with 16 goals, 3 assists, and a total of 19 points this season.

“We are going to take pride in the fact that we are one of the top programs in the country reaching to be the best, but it’ s devastating to come this far and not get to the championship game,” Ramsey said.

The Gauchos (15-9) fell to Santa Clara (15-3) in the third place game Saturday morning, placing 4th overall in the tournament.