After trailing 12-6 heading into halftime on Friday afternoon, the 19th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes outscored No. 18 Stanford 12-4 in the second half to stun the Cardinal with a thrilling 18-16 victory in the first Pac-12 Conference game at Kittredge Field.
The win is the second straight against a top-20 opponent for the Buffs, which improved to 4-2 overall. Stanford is now 3-3 overall and 0-1 in league action.
"I think for us, it's just about sticking to our game plan and doing the little things," CU head coach Ann Elliott said about the second-half comeback. "It took us awhile to get into the game. Once we were able to do that, once we got some more draw controls and possessions, I thought we did a good job of executing on both ends of the field."
The Buffs got on the board first with sophomore Anna Collawn's first career goal at 27:02 off a pass from senior Darby Kiernan. The Cardinal responded, though, with a quick pair of markers to take a 2-1 advantage before CU junior Samantha Nemirov tied the game up at two each with her first of the game at 21:32.
The Cardinal, however, led 12-6 at halftime, before the Buffs rallied with five straight goals to start the second half, cutting Stanford's lead to just one (12-11).
"We just went into the half knowing we had to work hard to come back in the second half, and we knew we had a plan that we had to stick to it," Kiernan said. "We worked really well together in the second half."
That was apparent when Carly Cox tied the game at 16 at 7:54 on a quick pass from Kiernan. Sophomore Jen Mistretta then tallied the game-winning goal 50 seconds later on another assist from Kiernan, before Cox tallied the game's final goal.
Colorado 18, Stanford 16
At Kittredge FieldStanford (4-3)124—16Colorado (4-2)612—18
Goals — Stanford: Nick (6), Scornavacco (3), Murray (2), Baiocco (2), Lew (1), Buness (1), McMahon (1). Colorado: Kiernan (5), Stinson (5), Cox (3), Grozier (2), Nemirov (1), Mistretta (1), Collawn (1).
Assists — Stanford: Lew (2). Murray (2), Schoen (2). Colorado: Kiernan (3), Castillo (1), Cox (1).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Stanford: DaCar (60:00-18-9); Colorado: Lisella (60:00-16-16).