Dominican deals CMU lacrosse a double-OT loss

In 2012, it was a last-minute regulation goal during a 5-4 win over Dominican (Calif.) that helped propel the Colorado Mesa University men’s lacrosse team to a Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association championship.

This season, a Dominican goal in double overtime likely sank the Mavericks’ WILA championship aspirations in an 8-7 loss Sunday at Walker Field. Coach A.J. Stevens said it was most disappointing to see a 3-0 halftime lead disappear.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” Stevens said. “We came out in the second half, and they got a little momentum. It’s something we’ll learn from and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Goalie Brad Brandenburg was dominant throughout the game. At the start of the second half, Brandenburg chested up a low save, took the rebound shot off his facemask, scooped up the ball and ran toward the eastern sideline before taking a brutal crosscheck to the head that landed a Dominican player in the penalty box.

“To be honest, we wouldn’t be in any game we play without him,” Stevens said. “He’s a fantastic goalie, and does a great job for us.”

Brandenburg shut out Dominican in the first half, facing 15 shots and notching six saves. During the third quarter, penalties and man-up situations allowed Dominican to seize momentum. The Penguins went 2-3 during extra-man opportunities in the third, and had six man-up situations in the second half.

CMU benefitted from strong passing, which Stevens said will remain a cornerstone of the team moving forward. Six goals were assisted, including three from Ohio State transfer Michael Beimford, who Stevens dubbed “the quarterback” of the Mavs.

With CMU’s postseason hopes likely done, Stevens said focus has shifted to next season. He said that multiple transfers and a strong recruiting class will help strengthen an already contending team featuring no seniors. Although transfers can’t be announced until they are enrolled in school, next spring will feature early enrollee Collin Brooke. Brooke played at Quinnipiac (Conn.) University for a year after being named a 2010 high school All-American out of Virginia.

“We’ve got some big transfers and big additions for next year,” Stevens said. “But we like the guys we got. We still have no one graduating. We’re still a young team. It’s the same team that won the conference last year and challenged for it this year. I think we’re in good position to be dominant for a while.”


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