After a heartbreaking loss to USC on Friday, the University of Colorado lacrosse team bounced back bigger than they have all season as they trampled San Diego State at home on Sunday, 16-3.
"I think it's huge," head coach Ann Elliott said. "Obviously after a game like Friday, you have to come back and bounce back. Because if you let it bother you, then it's going to cost you in the long run, and we knew that this is the most important game we have right now. We had to come back out and give it everything we've got for 60 minutes."
Junior attacker Johnna Fusco recorded her fifth hat trick of the season, and the 24th of her career on Sunday, netting her first three goals in the first half and another one in the second. Senior defender Sarah Lautman added to the rout with a hat trick of her own.
"Personally, I just like to work hard for my teammates, really," Fusco said. "That's just in me. I'm a very competitive person, and I think it spreads across my team. If I work hard, my teammate next to me is going to work even harder, and the girl next to her is going to work even harder."
From start to finish, the Buffaloes had the game in the bag as they commanded the pace of play and strengthened their defense with a strong performance from junior goalie Paige Soenksen, who recorded eight saves on the day.
Lautman and sophomore defender Kelsie Garrison both shined on defense for CU as they each recovered four ground balls after causing Aztec turnovers.
"Honestly, our whole defense through played very well down there," Elliott said. "I think that was a right part of today's game, if there was one, was really our defense down there, seven on seven and really their ability to cause turnovers and push it in transition and back up the field."
For much of the first half, the Buffaloes commandeered the pace of the game as they gained a considerable lead early and never let it go. Near the end of the half, Fusco easily recorded another hat trick as she led the scoring on both sides with three goals.
At the half, the Buffs led 6-2.
Throughout the second half, the Buffs continued to be relentless on defense and even more ruthless on offense, scoring 10 more goals before the clock hit zero. By the end of it all, the Buffs sealed the victory with a 16-3 score.
The Buffs return to the field on Friday as they take on Saint Mary's at 3 p.m. in Boulder.
"We still have a lot of things that we need to work on that we didn't improve on from Friday but we were able to pull it out and we're on to the next one now," Elliott said.
CU 16, San Diego State 3San Diego State (4-9, 3-4 MPSF) 2 1 — 3 Colorado (9-4, 3-3 MPSF) 6 10 — 16
Goals — CU: Fusco 4, Lautman 3, Castagnola 2, Castillo 2, Macleay 2, Stinson 2, Kiernan; SDSU: Watson, Porter, Deitz.
Assists — CU: Cox 2, Nemirov 2, Brown, Kiernan; SDSU: Watson, Jeffery.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-saves) — CU: Soenksen (60:00 - 3-8); SDSU: Reeves (47:06 - 12- 6), Leibrandt (12:54 - 4-1)