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The University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team had won their last three games by coming from behind but couldn’t produce the same results against the University of California on Sunday, falling to the Golden Bears 6-7.
The afternoon game on Kittredge Field in Boulder was the regular season home finale for Colorado, who posted an impressive 6-2 record at home this season. Colorado lost to a Cal team whose record (5-10, 3-5 in MPSF) pales in comparison to that of the Buffaloes (9-7, 5-3). Despite the disappointing finish, Colorado has already clinched a spot in next week’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament and can look forward to the postseason.
The teams traded leads in the first half and Cal led 3-2 heading into halftime. The second half proved more of the same for the Golden Bears, who did not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the game.
Freshman midfielder Johnna Fusco’s three goals led Colorado in scoring. But CU’s leading goal scorer this season, freshman attacker Cali Castagnola, was right behind Fusco with two goals of her own. California’s seven goals came by way of six different goal scorers, and junior midfielder Gaby Christman led the Golden Bears with two goals.
Cal managed to hold the Buffs’ sophomore midfielder Sarah Lautman, who was last week’s MPSF offensive player of the week after scoring both overtime-winners for the Buffaloes, scoreless in the game. Freshman goalie Paige Soenksen, who was the MPSF Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week, made 11 saves in the game.
“Cal came out and wanted it more,” Soenksen said. “We have to want the ball more and work harder to pick it up.”
Colorado struggled late, finding themselves in foul trouble with two yellow cards in the last eight minutes. The first one went to freshman midfielder Katie Macleay and the other to Fusco, with less than five minutes remaining.
“Our offense could have done more,” Fusco said of Colorado’s struggle to put points on the board. “We were very slow today.”
CU will play their final game of the regular season next Sunday (April 27) at Oregon, and after that will head into the MPSF Tournament. Colorado head coach Ann Elliott didn’t think Sunday’s loss did the Buffs any favors looking ahead to the postseason.
“A victory today could have helped us out a lot in our seeding,” Elliott said. “We made our road a lot tougher.”
While a win would have improved the Buffs’ lot in the six-team MPSF tournament, they still have the chance to make some noise in what will be the new program’s first-ever playoff appearance.
“At the end of the day, the message is the same: We have to work together, play hard and do the little things,” Elliott said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sam Routhier at Samuel.firstname.lastname@example.org