February 22, 2014

Colorado Wins Inaugural Home Game Over Regis

from press release

BOULDER, Colo.  – The young University of Colorado lacrosse team took possession of Folsom Field early and held on into the final minutes. The Buffaloes scored in the first minute and led for the entirety of the game to defeat the Regis Rangers 13-10 in their inaugural home game.

The Buffs opened home play in front of a crowd of 812 fans, running behind Ralphie as they took their first steps onto Folsom. The amazing experience wasn’t lost on the team, but the group of Division I newcomers looked more poised than nervous.

“We’re very excited,” said CU head coach Ann Elliott. “It’s a great opportunity for our program to have our first home game ever here on Folsom Field. It’s such a special place, there’s such great tradition. To run behind Ralphie, you can’t put what that feels like into words. But it was a day that was special for our girls and hopefully they’ll remember it forever.”

The first ever CU lacrosse home win will also be a day that will live forever in the CU record books. The Buffs did a great job of spreading the offense, with eight different players scoring goals, two netting hat tricks and two scoring their first collegiate goasl. This is the third game that at least two Buffs have scored at least three goals in a single game.

Leading the way for the Buffs was the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Rookie of the Week, Johnna Fusco. Fusco had a game-high five points off of three goals and two assists. Fusco’s stat line was extremely impressive, as she also grabbed a game-high seven ground balls and six draw controls.

“The game was a very good opportunity for us to come out and show everyone that we can compete with any team,” Fusco said. “The goals, I couldn’t have done it without my team, they set me up for everything I do. There was a lot of energy from the crowd and we had to focus a lot today so that was a change for us, but I think we did really well with it.”

CU’s Sarah Lautman hit an offensive stride against Regis. She scored her first goal for the Buffs just 30 seconds into the game, and earned her first hat trick with 14:32 remaining in the second half. Tori Link also netted her first collegiate goal against Regis, helping the Buffs to their biggest lead of the game, 13-6, with 13:17 remaining.

Colorado bounces back after a two-game road skid to improve to 2-2 overall, 0-1 MPSF. The Division II Regis Rangers begin their season in the loss column. Junior Hilary Duda, a 2013 second-team All-WILA selection, had a standout performance for the Rangers, netting four goals off six shots and going two of three from the 8-meter.

Though the Buffs led by as many as seven goals, the game was a tight matchup. CU just edged Regis in shots (28 to 21) and draw controls (15 to 10), but the Rangers grabbed the upper-hand in ground balls (22 to 20) and saves (nine to 10).

“Regis is a good team, they play hard,” Elliott said. “We played them in the fall and we knew they were going to come out and compete … We felt prepared in our game plan, our kids felt prepared and we just wanted to go out and play.”

Less than four minutes after the first draw, the Buffs grabbed a 2-0 lead behind goals by Lautman and Amanda Salvadore. Duda scored the first of her four goals with just under 20 minutes remaining in the first half to pull within one.

The Rangers cut their deficit to one goal one final time at 13:05, but the Buffs would begin to pull away. In just over one minute, Fusco netted two unassisted goals to put the Buffs up 5-2. In the final six minutes of the first half, Regis would bookend a CU goal by Marie Moore, but would remain trailing 6-4 at halftime.

“I think half time, our coaches talked to us and told us we need to focus more,” Fusco said. “We came out thinking it was 0-0, a new game, so we knew we needed to score a little bit more and show people that we can compete even better with every single play.”

The Buffs again wasted little time scoring to begin the next period. Moore netted her second just over three minutes into the second half. Regis responded at 22:55, with Erin Steiner hitting one in unassisted. CU pulled away again, with four different Buffs each scoring goals, in just over three minutes’ time.

Regis finally found some offensive footing at 19:06, but CU again responded with back-to-back goals, with Link giving the Buffs’ their biggest lead with 13 minutes and 17 seconds remaining.

Despite the large lead, the Rangers refused to give up, closing the game on a 4-0 run in the final 11:18.

“When we were able to do the little things and not make unforced errors, I think we were able to run by,” Elliott said. “We got some good looks and our kids were able to put them away. Regis did a good job and pressured us. They came up with a lot of ground balls and we just had to take the opportunities that we had.”

Thankfully for the Buffs, their earlier opportunities were enough to hold their lead, claiming the victory 13-10.

“It’s an exciting day,” Elliott said. “We don’t focus too much on winning and losing. We focus on getting better every day and next week we’ll focus on getting better. We have some things we have to clean up but this is an exciting day for our girls. To be able to play here and come out with a win, it’s awesome. We’ll celebrate it and get back to work tomorrow.”

After four games in 10 days to open their season, the Buffs are off until Tuesday, March 4 when they play host to Temple. First draw is at 3 p.m. at Kittredge Field.


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