Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Olivia Butrymovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Colorado Women’s lacrosse team started off its postseason with a bang. The Buffs won their first match in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) conference quarterfinals against Oregon on Thursday in Stanford, 11-3.
Colorado concluded its best season in team history last Sunday with a 14-9 win over the Ducks to give it an overall record of 12-4. CU finished third in the conference with a record of 7-2.
The Buffs’ quarterfinal win at the championships marks their third consecutive win in the MPSF first round. The Buffs had previously beaten San Diego State in both 2014 and 2015 in the initial round, only to fall to Stanford in the semifinals.
CU dominated the first half of play against the Ducks. The Buffs’ first goal came from junior attacker Cali Castagnola, nearly eight and a half minutes into play.
Sophomore attacker Carly Cox followed Castagnola’s example, and managed to score back to back goals within a minute of play.
A second goal around the 11 minute mark from Castagnola put the Buffs up 4-0. Senior midfielder Sarah Lautman scored the team’s fifth goal of the match with around ten minutes left to play.
Junior attacker Johnna Fusco scored the Buffs final goal of the half with three minutes to play. Oregon scored their first goal with 33 seconds left until the half. Colorado’s early advantage caused them a five point advantage over the Ducks.
It was a slow start for both teams during the second half. Oregon recorded the first goal around the 22 minute mark. After going scoreless for 12 minutes, Fusco scored the Buffs seventh goal of the match.
Castagnola, assisted by Fusco followed suit with her third goal of the match. Less than thirty seconds later, sophomore midfielder Kelsie Garrison landed the ball in the net to extend the Buffs lead 9-2.
Junior midfielder Katie Macleay scored 24 seconds after Garrison. She was assisted by sophomore midfielder Sarah Brown.
Oregon scored their third and final goal of the match with seven and a half minutes left on the clock. The Buffs got the final word though, and secured an 11-3 win with a final goal from junior midfielder Tori Link, assisted by Cox.
Colorado closed out the match with 21 shots on goal to Oregon’s 12. The Buffs managed 10 draw controls to the Ducks six, but were evenly matched on turnovers with 12 a piece.
Junior goalie Paige Soenksen had a productive day on the defensive side of the ball, managing nine saves and a save percentage of .750 after only allowing three goals to sneak by. Colorado managed to prove itself more so in their second matchup against the Ducks.
In their previous meet, the Ducks kept the game close, but CU pulled out the 14-9 win after rallying back from a Oregon’s first half surge.
With the quarterfinal win, the Buffs will face Stanford for the third year in a row in the conference semifinals. Colorado has previously been defeated by both Stanford and USC in regular conference play this season, and the Buffaloes are eager to redeem themselves after two close losses.
The Cardinal were able to hold off the Buffs earlier in the season to secure the 12-10 win, but the Buffs have proved to be one of the more difficult challenges for Stanford as it chases down a 10th MPSF title.
Colorado’s next game will begin at 8 p.m. Friday night and will be available to live stream, on the CU Lacrosse website.