UPSET! Tars Take Down No. 20 Colorado Mesa, 12-8

Photo Credit: Mike Watters Photography
Photo Credit: Mike Watters Photography

Rollins Upsets Nationally-Ranked Mavs, Snaps 20-Game Home-Field Winning Streak


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (March 13, 2019) – History repeated itself as the Rollins men's lacrosse team upset the nationally-ranked Colorado Mesa University Mavericks for the second straight season.  The Tars took down the No. 20 Mavs by a final score of 12-8 on Wednesday evening at Walker Field, winning their fourth straight and advancing their record to 5-1 on the season.  Colorado Mesa shoulders the loss and drops to 3-3 on the season.  The Rollins win snapped CMU's 20 game home-field win streak, with their last loss on their home turf back on February 20, 2016 when the Mavs lost to Westminster by ascore of 7-12, and marks only their sixth loss in program history on their home field.

It was a year ago to the day that the Tars took down a then fourth-ranked Mavericks' squad by a score of 12-9 on March 13, 2018.  365 days later, Rollins toppled Colorado Mesa yet again, earning a key regional win over the nationally-ranked opponent for the second straight year. 

The Tars were led by sophomore Joey Cinque with four goals, while seniors Greg Taicher and Tommy Keane registered a hat trick apiece.  Ryan Dunn scored one goal on the evening, as well as Cam Reeves, who scored a key goal late in the game to help lock in the victory.  Blake Buell led the Tars in assists on the night with two, while Taicher, Brandon Carlin, Chase Snyder, Dunn, and Grant Long dished out one assist apiece.  Wes Johnson, Kyle Sudol, Snyder, and Harrison Bluestein all registered a team high three ground balls on the night, with Sudol winning 3-of-12 faceoff attempts, while Reeves won 4-of-12.  Having a solid night on defense was senior Evan Schimek, whose five caused turnovers marked a game high.  In goal, Will Eckert faced 12 shots on goal from the Mavericks, earning four saves while allowing eight goals in 60 minutes of action.

Colorado Mesa, who checked in at No. 20 on the USILA DII Poll and No. 19 on the US Lacrosse DII Top 20, saw a team best three goals from Jack Griffin, while Johnny Cary, Joe Wulforst IV, Kyle O'Brien, Nate Surd, and Clayton Grave all scored one goal apiece.  Surd led the team with two assists, followed by O'Brien and Jacoby Yordy with one each.  Michael Marino won a team best four ground balls as he won 17-of-24 faceoff attempts on the night.  Four Mavs earned one caused turnover each.  In goal, Christian Cherry faced 26 shots from the Tars, earning 14 saves while allowing 12 goals in 60 minutes between the pipes.

How it Happened:
Colorado Mesa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter with 10:13 on the clock, but two goals in the final five minutes of action in the period helped the Tars knot the score at 2-2 entering into the second stanza.  Rollins took their first lead of the game to open the second quarter thanks to a goal by Taicher at the 11:01 mark, but the Mavs pulled even four minutes later with a goal by Griffin at the 6:51 mark to set the score at 3-3.  Rollins once again used a late push in the period to regain the lead, scoring two goals in the final three and a half minutes to enter into halftime with a score of 5-3.  CMU came out of the break and fired off the first goal to pull to within one, 5-4, with 9:25 on the clock, but two goals by the Tars in under a minute extended their lead to 7-4 with 5:02 left in the quarter.  The Mavs halted the Tars' momentum with a goal by O'Brien at the 4:17 mark, but Rollins once again used a late push to score two goals in under two minutes to close out the third quarter with a 9-5 lead.  Rollins opened up their lead to five to open the final quarter, with Taicher finding the back of the net at the 11:43 mark to give the Tars a 10-5 lead.  However, the Mavericks were not about to back down, and added two goals within 32 seconds of each other to pull to within three, 10-7, with 6:14 to play.  Dunn connected a pass to Taicher on an extra man opportunity with 2:59 left, giving the Tars an 11-7 lead, but a goal by Surd off of an O'Brien assist at the 1:10 mark pulled the Mavs back to within three, 11-8. The Tars were able to seal the deal with 58 seconds left in the game as Reeves won the faceoff and ran the ball down for the final goal of the night, closing out the contest with the Tars defeating No. 20/19 Colorado Mesa, 12-8. 

The Series:
Rollins vs Colorado Mesa (4-2)

Date

Opponent

 

Score

Site

3/17/2012

COLORADO MESA

W

9-7

Winter Park, Fla.

3/23/2014

COLORADO MESA

L

9-11

Winter Park, Fla.

3/19/2016

COLORADO MESA

W

7-5

Winter Park, Fla.

3/16/2017

COLORADO MESA

L

9-13

Winter Park, Fla.

3/13/2018

No. 4 COLORADO MESA

W

12-9

Winter Park, Fla.

3/13/2019

At No. 20 Colorado Mesa

W

12-8

Grand Junction, Colo.

THE BREAKDOWN:
Overall: 4-2
Conference: 0-0
Home: 3-2
Away: 1-0
Neutral: 0-0

Notes:

  • The win snapped a CMU 20-game home-field winning streak.  The last time the Mavs lost on their home turf was on February 20, 2016, when they fell to Westminster by a score of 12-7.
  • The CMU loss marks only their sixth in program history on their home field.
  • The Tars and Mavs faced off a year ago to the day.  Last time out, Rollins upset the then fourth-ranked Mavericks by a final score of 12-9 on March 13, 2018.
  • Rollins received votes on both the NIKE/US Lacrosse Division II Top 20, as well as the USILA/Warrior and New Balance Division II Poll this week.
  • Colorado Mesa checked in at No. 20 on the USILA/Warrior and New Balance Division II Poll, and No. 19 on the NIKE/US Lacrosse DII Top 20 this week.
  • Rollins leads the all-time series against the Mavs, 4-2, with five of those games having been played in Winter Park.  Wednesday's matchup marked the first time the Tars and Mavericks squared off on CMU's home turf.
  • Rollins has upset the Mavs for two straight seasons.
  • The Tars are currently 4-1 this season when playing on the road.

NEXT:
Rollins men's lacrosse returns to action on Wednesday, March 13, when they take on RV/No. 20 Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colo.  Game time against the Mavericks is set for 9 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Mountain time.  Fans who are unable to support the Tars in person will be able to follow all of the action with links to live coverage on RollinsSports.com.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins men's lacrosse team, fans can visit RollinsSports.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.