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In their first game in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the CU women's lacrosse team showed promise despite a loss.

Women’s lacrosse overmatched by No.18 Pioneers in Denver

Marie Moore, left, and Annie Morsches run through a ball possession drill during an individuals practice in the Coors Events Center. (Kai Casey/CU Independent File)
Marie Moore, left, and Annie Morsches run through a ball possession drill during an individuals practice in the Coors Events Center. (Kai Casey/CU Independent File)


The University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team stumbled mightily against the No. 18 University of Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in Denver, falling to the Pioneers 15-4.

With this season being the first for the Buffaloes in Division I women’s lacrosse, Colorado holds a 1-2 record as a program. On the other side of the field, the Pioneer program is one with a history of excellence, and Denver is the reigning 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion. All of this led to a game in which Denver scored the first goal, held the Buffs scoreless through half and dominated in all phases of the game.

Denver ran out to an early lead, scoring on its first two possessions and building a 7-0 lead by halftime. Sophomore midfielder Rachael McKinnon led the Pioneers with four goals and had already scored three of those by the 6:44 mark in the first half, giving her a hat trick before halftime.

While it was apparent early on that this was not a winnable game for the Buffaloes, the team showed poise, tallying its first goal of the game on sophomore midfielder Katie Carroll’s goal at 7:40 in the second half. From there, the Buffs scored three of the next four goals, ending the game on a 4-1 run.

“Our kids continued to play hard until the end,” Colorado head coach Ann Elliott said. “And that was our biggest focus — can we play hard for 60 minutes?”

Along with Carroll’s goal, the Buffs had a goal by freshman midfielder Johnna Fusco and two goals from freshman midfielder Marie Moore. Carroll assisted on both of Moore’s goals.

“We’ve been coached to never give up from the first whistle to the last whistle, and that is what we tried to have as our mentality,” Carroll said.

The Buffs roster is almost entirely made up of freshmen, Carroll being one of only two sophomores on the team. The Buffs are aware of their inexperience, but are embracing it as the season goes on.

“It comes with time,” said Elliott of the Buffs at this early stage. “Hopefully as the games continue, we won’t play like a young team. We’ll play like a veteran team because that’s how I see them.”

The Buffaloes will play their first ever home game on Folsom Field Saturday against Regis University, with first draw at noon.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sam Routhier at

About Sam Routhier

Sam Routhier is a sports editor at the CU Independent and a student at CU majoring in History and Journalism with an emphasis in news editorial. Sam writes and stars on podcasts about sports, music and popular culture at the CUI. In his spare time he enjoys consuming sports, music, and popular culture. And food, lots of food.

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