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Friday April 13, 2001

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Laxcats travel to Colorado to face nation's top teams

By Jeff Lund

Arizona Daily Wildcat

For the UA lacrosse team, there will be no more easy games.

The No. 8 Wildcats' regular season will come to an end this weekend in Colorado when they take on top-ranked Colorado State and No. 11 Colorado.

UA head coach Mickey-Miles Felton said it is time for his team to step up and bring everything together for the final push before the playoffs.

"(Last weekend's match against) Tucson Lacrosse was a tune-up for us," Felton said. "Playing at Colorado State is difficult. I have never been there, but I have been hearing things from other coaches."

The Rams are coming off a tight 10-9 loss to NCAA Division III Colorado College.

CSU and Arizona share many similarities, which will make this weekend's matchup even more interesting. Both are entering the game with 10-2 records and are at the top of their respective conferences.

The Rams have gone 5-1 against top-20 teams and are winning by an average of 11 goals per game while the Laxcats are 2-1 when battling top-20 teams and win their contests also by 11 per game.

Though not in the same conference, both CSU and Arizona have been flexing their muscles in each other's conferences. CSU came out West and beat No. 4 Sonoma State, a team that sits one spot behind the Laxcats in the conference standings, while Arizona beat up on cellar-dwelling Ft. Lewis earlier in the year.

The difference in the game will be scoring. CSU's tight defense has only allowed one USLIA team into double-digit scoring this season. The Rams will have their hands full containing the high powered Laxcat offense, one that has not been held under 10 goals all season.

This will get easier after tomorrow's game with CSU.

Sunday, the Laxcats will turn around and play a Colorado team with plenty of experience playing top teams, but the Buffaloes (11-3) are 1-3 against top-20 teams and are a dismal 0-3 when facing top 10 teams. The Laxcats will look to exploit a CU defense that has been known to give up a lot of goals, and keep the potentially potent Buffalo offense in check.

Laxcat goalie Greg Parkington said the team is aware of how big this weekend is for playoff preparation, and is looking forward to the test.

"It should really help us out before the playoffs," Parkington said. "We will see where we stand after this weekend."