By Jesse Vineyard/GCU Staff
There is a serious case of déjà vu going around.
Like Thursday night’s game against Colorado State, No. 3 Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse held an advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but allowed five unanswered goals to No. 5 University of Colorado to drop the game, 12-11, Saturday afternoon at Boulder, Colorado.
This is the first time the Lopes (6-2) have lost two games in a row since the 2016 season, and just the second time in the last five seasons.
Going into the final quarter, GCU scored three times in the last three minutes of the third to go up, 11-7. Colorado had cut a 7-3 GCU halftime lead to 8-7 with five minutes remaining in the third before Cody Clark scored twice – both coming with GCU a man up – and Cam Wengreniuk adding one in between Clark’s two goals for the four-goal lead.
Clark’s final goal with 15 seconds remaining, however, would be the last attempt of the game for the Lopes as they were held shotless in the fourth. The Buffaloes had their game-high of 13 shots in the quarter to erupt for five goals, all of which were scored by five different players. Ben Willows bounced in the game-winning goal with 1:50 left – the first time Colorado even led in the game.
The Lopes had one final offensive chance in the last minute, but Wengreniuk had the ball knocked away and was unable to regain possession. Ensuing live-ball penalties on GCU awarded the reset to Colorado with six seconds left to ultimately end the game.
“It’s all about finishing, and we’re not finishing,” Lopes’ Head Coach Manny Rapkin said. “It all goes back to mental toughness, decision-making and determination. Our offense has to learn how to close out games. Today was the day our defense really needed us to step up, and we couldn’t do it.”
Clark totaled five goals in the game for a team-high 23 goals on the year. Wengreniuk, after missing the Colorado State game with an ankle injury, returned for three goals and three assists.
Jordan Vicente went coast-to-coast for a goal that put GCU up 4-1 after the opening quarter. Cian Peterson and Ryan Hsin – tallying his first of the season – also scored for GCU.
The Lopes now have a week to reset focus as they prepare for their rivalry game against No. 14 Arizona State University Saturday at noon at the ASU West Campus in Glendale. The Sun Devils (6-6) have won three straight after losing five in a row. All six losses have been by one goal each, with four of them coming in overtime.