After suffering its first loss over the weekend to now-No. 4 Notre Dame and turning right around to earn a tight victory at Marquette, the University of Colorado lacrosse team has set its sights on grabbing the "W" in its home opener Thursday.
"We're excited to be home and not traveling. It's easier to be here, and to play on campus for us is really exciting and we're looking forward to a great couple games," head coach Ann Elliott said. "It's March, so this is the latest, I think, we've actually played at home in our first game and we're excited."
Although the Colorado women (3-1) are not ranked in the top 20 in the NCAA Inside Lacrosse Poll, they are receiving votes, making them, more or less, No. 28 in the nation.
After a 14-4 setback at Notre Dame on Friday, the scrappy Buffaloes stormed back for a 10-8 victory at Marquette two days later.
Now, in preparation for their first home game at 3 p.m. Thursday at Kittredge Field against James Madison (1-3), which was ranked at the beginning of the season, the Buffaloes are looking to correct the mistakes they made in South Bend, Ind., and channel their inner grit.
"Obviously, there's some things we need to improve on and keep on improving day by day as we continue to get into our season further," Elliott said. "I think defensively, it's just continuing to work on communication and playing hard and really slowing down the ball the best we can; and offensively getting into a rhythm."
Don't let James Madison's record deceive you, as the Dukes have played some very good teams so far this season, including No. 5 North Carolina and No. 20 Connecticut.
"They're scrappy, they play hard, they're good one-on-one offensively, defensively," Elliott said. "I think they're going to be similar to kind of Notre Dame and Marquette in terms of what we saw and I think that, hopefully, will prepare us for Thursday."
Elliott acknowledged that although her team will have home-field advantage, she's preparing for a tough matchup that will require all her resources.
"But we know it's going to be a battle. They're such a tough team and they have a lot of weapons, whether it's from the midfield or from the attacker, that I think it's going to take everything that we have," she said.
After the Buffs take on the Dukes on Thursday, they'll return to their home field on Saturday to battle Central Connecticut State (0-2) at noon.
Alissa Noe: firstname.lastname@example.org