The Colorado women's lacrosse team used an 11-1 scoring run to stun No. 6 Penn State 16-11 on Sunday in University Park, Pa.
The Buffs, who are ranked 10th in the coaches' poll and ninth in the media poll, and Nittany Lions both entered the game unbeaten. CU improved to 7-0, extending its best ever start to the season, while PSU dropped to 7-1.
Sophomore Miranda Stinson led the way for CU with five goals and four assists, both career-highs, while junior Darby Kiernan added four goals. Senior Paige Soenksen, who leads the NCAA in save percentage allowed 11 goals on 27 shots faced.
"Penn State is a great and proven team. We knew it was going to be a battle and we would have to play together," Colorado head coach Ann Elliott said. "Penn State has started fast in all their games this season. I knew if we could not give up and keep it close in the first half we could have a shot in the second half."
Colorado had a slow start to the game despite getting on the board first at 26:07 with senior Katie Macleay's first of two goals. Penn State responded with four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. The Buffs answered with their second goal at 17:21, but the Nittany Lions answered with another two markers to increase the score to 6-2.
Colorado closed the first half strong with three of the next four goals, which cut PSU's lead to just two (7-5) at halftime.
CU's fourth goal of the game sparked an 11-1 run, which would prove to be too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome. In that span, CU had six different goal scorers in Cali Castagnola, Macleay, Kiernan, Johnna Fusco, Stinson and Carly Cox. Kiernan had three goals in that stretch, while Stinson tallied four.
"I thought overall our girls played hard. It wasn't always pretty but they kept fighting together. Offensively they continue to share the ball and responsibility and that helped us against a very good and prepared Penn State defense," Elliott said. "Defensively we did a good job sticking to the game plan and just staying in it even when we were down in that first half. We were able to get our sticks up on some shots and Paige did another great job making the saves."
CU is 4-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Colorado 16, Penn State 11Colorado (7-0) 5 11 — 16
Penn State (7-1) 7 4 — 11
Goals — Colorado: Stinson (5); Kiernan(4); Castagnola (2); Cox (2); Macleay (2); Fusco (1); Penn State: O'Donnell (4); Carter (3); Gallagher (2); Smucker (1); Lazo (1).
Assists — Colorado: Stinson (4); Macleay (2); Kiernan (1) ; Penn StateO'Donnell (2); Gallagher (1).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Colorado: Soenksen (60-11-16); Penn State: Rainone (55-16-8); Cunningham (5-0-0).