Colorado and USC players scrum for a loose ball during a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the USC Trojans, Friday in Boulder, Colo. (Elizabeth Rodriguez/CU Independent)
Colorado and USC players scrum for a loose ball during a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the USC Trojans, Friday in Boulder, Colo. (Elizabeth Rodriguez/CU Independent)

CU lacrosse deals first conference loss to USC in thriller

Colorado and USC players scrum for a loose ball during a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the USC Trojans Friday in Boulder, Colo. (Elizabeth Rodriguez/CU Independent)
Colorado and University of Southern California players scrum for a loose ball during a game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the USC Trojans Friday, April 11 in Boulder. (Elizabeth Rodriguez/CU Independent)

The Colorado women’s lacrosse team recorded its first overtime victory in program history Friday, walking off Kittredge Field with a 11-10 victory against the University of Southern California Trojans.

The team had enticed the first 300 fans to arrive at the game with free t-shirts, and it also treated its supporters to a last-second finish. Midfielder Sarah Lautman, one of only two sophomores on this young Colorado squad otherwise comprised of only freshmen, scored the game-winning goal for the Buffaloes as time expired in the second overtime period. The goal was Lautman’s third of the game, and it could not have come any later — the ball hit the net as time expired. Lautman’s shot came off of the rebound from a free position shot Cali Castagnola had taken.

“They never give up on any plays, that’s really what it was,” said Colorado head coach Ann Elliott.

Freshman midfielder Johnna Fusco led Colorado with four goals, three of which came in the first half.

The Buffaloes struck first in the game, with Fusco providing the goal off of a free position shot at 25:40 in the first half. The Buffaloes and the Trojans continued to trade leads through the half. With 1.5 seconds left in the first, USC scored the go-ahead goal to enter the second half leading 6-5.

Coming out of halftime, USC used that momentum to score two more goals, amassing the team’s biggest lead of the game at 8-5. Colorado fought back, tying the game at 10-10 with freshman attackman Castagnola’s goal at 2:29.

“To see our kids come out fighting and have that never give up mentality, and really continue to believe in themselves, even when we made some mistakes, was a really positive thing for us,” Elliott said.

Castagnola, who is Colorado’s leading scorer this season, also struck first in overtime, giving the Buffs a 10-9 lead through the first overtime period. When USC freshman attackman Alex Moore tied things up in the second overtime period, it came down to the last possession and Latuman’s game-winning goal.

“This is a great opportunity, they’re a great team,” said Castagnola of USC, which sits atop the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings along with Stanford University, who beat Colorado last week in Palo Alto, Calif..

Freshman goalie Paige Soenksen, last week’s MPSF Rookie of the Week, had 15 saves in the game.

Until this game, USC was an undefeated, 5-0 in MPSF. Along with being one of the elite programs this season, USC is a young program in only its second year, providing a model for success for this Colorado team that is in the midst of its first season in Division I.

Colorado continues their four-game home stand at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 13, playing another foe within the MPSF conference, San Diego State University.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sam Routhier at Samuel.routhier@colorado.edu.

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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