Freshman midfielder Darby Kiernan (25) celebrates her fourth goal of the afternoon with her teammate Marie Moord (2). (Matt Sisneros/CU Independent File)

Buffs lacrosse handle No. 14 Denver with 14-3 win, keeping their perfect season

In what many imagined would be a close game, Colorado Buffaloes women’s lacrosse team ran the Pioneers up and down the field, coming away with a convincing 14-3 victory over the Denver Pioneers. Coming into the game, both teams were undefeated, Colorado being 4-0 and Denver being 5-0. Despite the discrepancy in records, the Buffaloes boasted a No. 13 ranking over Denver’s No. 14 ranking.

The final score of 14-3 speaks for itself. Colorado put on an offensive clinic, torching the Pioneers with fast paced offense and suffocating defense.

Senior attacker Johnna Fusco led the Buffs with an astounding five goals, and her relentless pursuit of the back of the net didn’t stop after her first half hat trick, as she notched two goals in the second half to put things even further out of reach for Denver. Junior attacker Darby Kiernan and senior attacker Katie Macleay both posted hat tricks as well.

“I think the key was honestly our defense, our defense only allowed three goals which was awesome,” Kiernan said. “On offense, just really working the ball [was key for us;] Denver played a zone so working the ball was really important.”

This was a statement win for the Buffs. Now 5-0, with three ranked wins under their belt, the Buffs are showing themselves as real contenders as the season moves forward. Darby Kiernan added “this just gives us so much motivation and confidence for the games coming forward, and gives us a lot of fire under our belt, we’re just so determined this season and really focused.”

The Buffs truly ran the Pioneers up and down the pitch, and it all started with defense. Only allowing three goals against a strong Denver team was huge, and turning those defensive stops in to fast breaks was a big part of the Buffs’ offense.

“They made my job really easy, they did a really good job in front of me,” said senior goaltender Paige Soenksen.

Junior defender Sarah Brown showed off her wheels and ran the break a couple different times after coming up with the ball on defense, and playing fast really wore on the Pioneers, who were running out of steam early on in the first half.

Speed was truly the name of the game.

“We’re a fast team and I think that’s something we pride ourselves in, and we really take advantage of,” said Fusco. “Our transition is really important to us, having defenders that are fast, middies that are fast and attackers that are fast helps us all around the field.”

Head coach Ann Elliott seemed to agree.

“Speed and athleticism [are some] of our strengths, and when we can get out in the open field and use that I think we’re very dangerous,” she said. “We’ve got to do a better job of finishing in transition; I think we had a couple too many turnovers.” 

5-0 is the best start in program history, and with a statement blowout over a strong conference opponent, the Buffs will be looking to continue their hot streak when they go up against Marquette on Sunday, March 5. 

The Buffaloes and the Golden Eagles will begin play at 1 p.m. MST.

CU Independent Sports Staff Writers Alex Pepper and Yama Radtke contributed to this story.

Contact Alex Pepper at alpe3706@colorado.edu

Contact Yama Radtke at yamahilo@yahoo.com

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