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Scottsdale, AZ — No. 6 Colorado State beat No. 7 UCSB 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.
The Gauchos were down 3-6 at the half and responded with three straight goals to tie the game at 6-6 with 12:50 remaining. UCSB held the Rams scoreless for more than 20 minutes until CSU finally broke through to score and seal the 10-7 win.
Junior goalie Jeni Centner had 12 saves, while senior middlefielder Alyssa Nelsen lead the team in scoring with two goals. The Gauchos were six for 15 on shots from the field and one for eight 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.”
The Gauchos beat No. 10 University of Texas 16-10 on Wednesday night before defeating No. 2 Florida 12-11 after an improbable comeback in overtime on Thursday night.
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 for 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 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 18.
Freshman midfielder Blair Evans made the all-tournament team with 16 goals, three 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 fourth overall in the tournament.