Following a three-game homestand that began on March 15 and ended with a 19-6 win over Fresno State last Saturday, the University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team hit the road for Newark, Delaware, to take on the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens Wednesday.
In the Buffs’ lowest-scoring contest of the year, Colorado won a defensive battle and edged the Blue Hens 9-7 behind hat tricks from senior attackers Cali Castagnola and Johanna Fusco.
Although Delaware drew first blood, scoring the opening goal close to three minutes into the game, the No. 4 Buffs kept things in check thanks to good defensive play in the ensuing minutes. Colorado and Delaware were locked in a scoreless stalemate for the next 8:34 before senior attacker Katie Macleay’s 25th goal of the season tied the game. Junior attacker Carly Cox notched the assist.
Exactly 33 seconds later, the Blue Hens retook the lead, but Castagnola scored 26 seconds after that, again tying the game.
Another scoring drought ensued shortly thereafter, this time for 7:30, before Fusco scored her first goal of the day with 10:27 remaining before halftime. Fusco would score her 27th goal of the year and her second of the game with 2:44 left in the half. The Blue Hens failed to answer before the buzzer sounded and Colorado led 4-3 after 20 minutes of play.
In a change of pace, it was the Buffs who were being outshot. Delaware managed 26 shots on goal compared to CU’s 22 in the first half. Overall, the Blue Hens maintained a 46-35 advantage in the shots department in the matchup.
Delaware scored the two first goals of the second half, going up, 5-4, in the process. But the Buffaloes answered with two consecutive goals of their own. Freshman midfielder Jen Mistretta scored her first career goal on an assist by Macleay about four minutes into the second half.
After Mistretta’s goal, the longest scoring drought of the game followed. It would be 10:19 before sophomore midfielder Miranda Stinson notched her 17th goal of the year as the Buffs retook the lead with 15:37 left to play.
Two Blue Hens goals in the span of just over a minute threatened to spoil Colorado’s perfect season, but the Buffs managed the game’s final three scores, two coming from Castagnola and the final by Fusco.
Castagnola led the team with four points, while Fusco’s three goals and Macleay’s one goal plus two assists tied them for second place in the points department. The senior goalie had her work cut out for her in front of the net — she made 13 saves in the win.
Up next for the undefeated Buffaloes is another road game, this time against No. 5 Stony Brook. The game will begin in Stony Brook, New Jersey, on Friday, March 31, at 5 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo.