Pack MLAX earns First RMAC win with 18-10 takedown of Maryville

Pack MLAX earns First RMAC win with 18-10 takedown of Maryville

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 24, 2017) Colorado State University – Pueblo Men's Lacrosse made history Friday when the ThunderWolves earned the first conference victory in the program's three years, defeating Maryville University 18-10. 

"Hats off to all of the juniors and sophomores who have been here waiting on this day, " said CSU-Pueblo Head Coach Sean Blair. "I am proud of all of the boys effort today."

The Pack also moved above .500 for the first time in school history as they improved to 3-2. They earned their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win to improve to 1-2 in conference play. Maryville fell to 0-8 (0-5 RMAC).

"It was a long time coming," Blair said. "I'm glad we were finally able to put pieces together to make this happen." 

Hunter Thompson (Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.) scored five goals to lead the Pack's offensive attack. The five goals set a new career-high for Thompson. He also secured two ground balls.

Preston DeHerrera (Jr., Northglenn, Colo.) came up with a season-high eight ground balls. DeHerrera also caused a turnover.

"I'm glad we were able to come out and put a complete game together," DeHerrera said. "During all three phases of the game, we worked together and ran the systems. We're going to celebrate this tonight and start preparing for our next game tomorrow."

The ThunderWolves forced 22 Maryville turnovers, while only giving it away 12 times. Tavian Watson (So., Aurora, Colo.) and Cole Pauley (So., Omaha, Neb.) each forced a team-high two turnovers. 

Sophomore Weston Bartgis (El Cajon, Calif.) netted his first career hat trick with three goals. Bartgis now has nine goals on the season.

Each of the Pack's three attackmen scored twice. Nick Matzek (Jr., Tustin, Calif.) fired in two goals and added two assists. Blake Foerster (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) and Taylor Davis (So., Littleton, Colo.) both finished with two goals and an assist.

The Pack raced out to a 3-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. Parker Loyd (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) tucked in the Pack's third goal. However, Maryville would score the final four goals of the quarter to go up 4-3 after one.

The second quarter started in a similar fashion to the first. CSU-Pueblo found the back of the net for the first three goals of the second quarter to take a 6-4 lead. Maryville would tie the game at seven. With one minute to go before halftime, the Pack broke the tie with goals from Thompson and Davis to seize a 9-7 lead heading into intermission.
Coming out of the break, Maryville scored to cut the Pack's lead to one. CSU-Pueblo would score four of the next five goals to put some distance between them and the Saints at 13-9. Matzek scored both of his goals in the third quarter. Trevor Boice (So., Stuart, Fla.) and KC Scott (Fr., Windsor, Colo.) also rifled in goals in the third.
 

Although the fourth quarter had caused the Pack problems in their previous two conference games this season, CSU-Pueblo flipped the script on Friday, outscoring the Saints 5-1 in the fourth quarter. Thompson tacked on two goals in the fourth. Foerster, Davis, and Cody Bolen (Jr., Castle Rock, Colo.) all added goals in the fourth as the Pack pulled away with an 18-10 victory.

Caleb Johnson (Jr., Castle Rock, Colo.) and Anthony Ferrie (So., Littleton, Colo.) both snagged four groundballs.  Nick Richards (Jr., Henderson, Nev.)made seven saves on 17 shots to even his record at 2-2 on the season.
 
The Pack will not get to celebrate their first RMAC win for long. CSU-Pueblo's road trip continues Sunday at 11 a.m. when they face Rockhurst University in another RMAC clash.

"We're ready to enjoy it for the moment and then prepare for the next game," Blair said. "We'd like to give a special thanks to the over 500 people who tuned into the webcast. We are looking forward to the remainder of the season."

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.