BOULDER – Though the conditions couldn’t have been more different, the finish was nearly the same, with University of Colorado sophomore Sarah Lautman netting an overtime game-winner to help her lacrosse team to victory. After an extra minutes buzzer beater on Friday to push the Buffaloes over the USC Women of Troy, Lautman once again gave CU its late push, scoring the sudden victory goal here Sunday to give CU a 7-6 win over San Diego State.
“I think it’s really big for our team,” Lautman said. “It shows that we can dig deep and when it matters, we can play hard and play hard through everything until the last minute.”
With a reading of 34 degrees on the thermometer at opening draw, snowy and overcast conditions seemed to slow both teams’ rhythms. SDSU went into the break up 4-2, but the Buffs, who managed just 11 shots in regulation, outscored the Aztecs four to two in the second half to send the game into extra minutes.
The Aztecs took six shots in overtime play, while limiting the Buffs to two, but CU once again showed its late game strength. Over four minutes ticked away as the teams both pushed for a sudden victory in the final minutes of overtime, and Lautman hammered one home to claim the win.
“In all honesty, we have struggled a lot in the other games we played when it was cold and snowy,” CU head coach Ann Elliott said. “I thought we came out hard in the beginning and we were playing well, the best we’ve played in the cold weather. As the snow picked up you knew it was going to be an ugly game on both sides and you had to just keep fighting and you needed someone to pick up and make a play. Sarah did that for us.”
After recording her second hat trick in Friday’s 12-11 OT win against USC, Lautman had another performance for the books against SDSU. She netted a career-high four goals and took six of CU’s 13 shots.
“She’s a fighter,” Elliott said of Lautman. “I think and when the pressure’s on, she can step up and make plays. We have a lot of kids on this team that can do that and it’s exciting to see her do that back-to-back.”
Marie Moore had the sixth hat trick of her young career, going two for two from the 8-meter. She won a game-high six draw controls and tied a team-high four ground balls. CU goalie Paige Soenksen continues to impress between the pipes, grabbing 12 saves and scooping up a career-high four ground balls.
“I think for me, our defense made my job a little easier than it would have been without them,” Soenksen said. “They did a really good job pushing the attacker to go outside to take outside shots which have worse angles so you have a better chance of saving them.
“We did pretty well keeping them off the 8-meter which helps because that’s just a one and done shot and those are way harder. I think the team did a good job of getting knock downs of ground balls within the 8-meter right outside the crease which helps me a lot and made me look better.”
Though SDSU outshot CU 24 to 13 (18 to 11 in regulation and six to two in overtime), CU edged SDSU in ground balls 19 to 18 and won twice as many draw controls (12 to six). The Buffs turned the ball over 22 times, while the Aztecs had 16 errors. The Aztecs had six free-position shots, but scored zero goals from the 8-meter.
Colorado is already proving its strengths in its first season of play, extending its record to 8-6 overall, 5-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Both of CU’s conference defeats have been against ranked opponents. In their last two games, the Buffs have taken down conference opponents in overtime play.
“It’s huge for us,” coach Elliott said. “We really haven’t played too many close games and when you’re young, it’s hard. It’s really tough to know what to do in these situations and I think our girls have responded well. It’s good preparation for us for the rest of this year and heading into next year and the future years as well to have that under our belt.”
San Diego State has now lost six in a row, with three of the Aztec’s losses happening against MPSF foes. The Aztecs fall to 6-7, 3-3 on the season. Michaela Jarvis led SDSU against CU, earning three points off two goals and an assist. Goalie Katrina Reeves had four saves and three ground balls.
Both teams took one shot apiece in the first four minutes of the game, but it took nearly eight minutes for either to score. Jarvis gave SDSU its first at 22:25 and was at it again, this time assisted by Bailey Ewing, at 19:21 to give the Aztecs a 2-0 lead.
Colorado got on the board just after the midway mark, as Lautman scored with 14:15 remaining in the half. Jarvis once again rallied for the Aztecs, assisting Katie Gill to put SDSU up 2-1.
The Buffs were able to respond less than one minute later, with Moore netting her first off a free-position shot with 8:57 remaining. CU had pulled within one again, but 41 seconds before the break, Christina Ricciardulli gave SDSU a 4-2 lead going into halftime.
“I think early on in any game we need to, as a team, come out harder, come out stronger, come out with more energy and with a passion,” Soenksen said. “(The weather) might have affected the first couple minutes of the game but I think overall the weather was even for both teams.”
CU was able to get on the attack much faster in the second half, with Lautman pulling the Buffs back within one in the first 45 seconds, but Ewing gave the Aztecs another push just over seven minutes later.
The Aztecs had grabbed a two-goal lead for the fourth time, but the Buffs would use a 3-0 run to grab its first lead of the game. Moore got back-to-back goals in just 52 seconds, first off an FPS, and then from an assist by Amanda Salvadore.
Over 15 minutes would go by before the Buffs would be able to grab the lead. SDSU took four shots in that time, forcing CU to take a timeout with 5:05 on the clock. The regrouping proved productive, as the Buffs settled back into its scoring groove. Lautman sent a ball high and Katie Macleay tracked down a ground ball before Lautman sent one into the back of the net with 3:37 remaining.
With 1:38 left in regulation, SDSU’s Catherine Shepardson forced a save from Soenksen. After a scrum for a ground ball, SDSU got a timeout, and tied things back up with 55 seconds remaining, eventually sending the game into overtime.
The Aztecs took two shots in the first 44 seconds of overtime, and took just three seconds after the side change to take their third. With ten seconds remaining, CU looked to have a repeat of Friday’s game, with Emily Bresnahan forcing a save from Reeves, but the Buffs late drive wouldn’t succeed this time. For the first time in its inaugural season, CU would head into a sudden victory period.
With the field cleared of built up snow for the second time, the teams were back in action, with each hoping to end the game with a “W.” Capitalizing off of CU turnovers, SDSU took three more shots before the teams switched sides, making Soenksen grab two saves, including one off a direct attack from the 8-meter.
Molly Rovzar cleanly controlled the draw and CU got into SDSU territory quickly. Less than three minutes remained for the game to be determined, and Lautman ended the game with 2:01 on the clock, scoring her second OT game-winner in as many games.
“I think it was just a whole team effort,” Lautman said. “With Johnna (Fusco) coming in and setting that pick, there was a spot open for me to take. With all of the elements, you want to just take every opportunity you get and fire it home.”
The Buffs conclude their inaugural home season with a final non-conference and an MPSF game. CU hosts Old Dominion at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 18. Be one of the first 200 fans in attendance and receive free CU lacrosse socks! Join us for an egg hunt on Sunday, April 20 and watch the Buffs take on conference opponent California at noon.
CU 7, SDSU 6
|Scoring by Period||1||2||OT1||OT2||Total|
|San Diego State||4||2||0||0||6|
Colorado Scoring (Goals-Assists – Points): Sarah Lautman (4-0 – 4), Marie Moore (3-0 – 3), Amanda Salvadore (0-1 – 1).
SDSU Scoring (Goals-Assists – Points): Michaela Jarvis (2-1 – 3), Christina Ricciardulli (2-0 – 2), Bailey Ewing (1-1 – 2), Katie Gill (1-0 – 1).