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The University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team won its season opener against the University of Denver in Denver on Friday afternoon, 11-10. Colorado has only been a Division I program since 2014, but this win over Denver has the mark of a team with as much experience and veteran leadership as any in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (the conference both teams play within).
Colorado jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the contest, and never trailed, although Denver outscored them in the second half and made a late push to keep this game close to the end.
The Buffaloes were led in scoring by junior forward Cali Castiagnola and sophomore midfielder Dary Kiernan, who each registered hat tricks with three goals.
Colorado’s win over Denver holds significance in conference play but also as the Buffaloes’ first win over the Pioneers. Last season, Denver bested Colorado in Boulder 10-6, and in 2014 the Pioneers ran circles around Colorado to the tune of a 15-4 Denver victory.
After a high-scoring first half, Colorado led 9-6. Both teams settled into a more defensive second half in which only six goals were scored in total.
Junior goalie Paige Soenksen had six saves for the Buffaloes, including five in the first half. She was aided by an opportunistic defense which forced Denver to take tough shots, as Denver was only able to produce 10 goals despite taking 30 shots in the contest, eight more than the Buffaloes’ 22.
Along with Castagnola and Kiernan’s three goals apiece, freshman midfielders Sophie Castillo and Miranda Stinson scored twice each for the Buffaloes, and senior midfielder Sarah Lautman (the Buffaloes’ lone senior on the roster) provided one goal.