The Colorado Buffaloes celebrated Senior Day by vanquishing yet another hurdle. It's a practice that has grown commonplace during the Buffs' breakout season.
On Friday, the No. 6-ranked CU women's lacrosse team defeated Stanford for the first time, overcoming an extensive mid-game scoring drought to post a 13-8 victory at Kittredge Field.
The Buffs previously had been 0-6 against the Cardinal, and the result knocked Stanford from the ranks of the unbeaten within the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. CU improved to 12-1 overall and remains atop the MPSF with a 4-0 league mark.
The Buffs' 16 seniors, a group that signed on before the infant CU program had even played a single contest, were honored during a pregame ceremony.
"It was a really special day for everyone. We just wanted to come out super strong and win this game for the seniors," CU junior Darby Kiernan said. "It feels so good to win for them and it was just an awesome experience to win this game on this field. Their last home game was really special, so it's awesome."
Coming off their first loss of the season a week earlier at nationally-ranked Stony Brook, CU's offense ran hot and cold before warming up again down the stretch to hold off the upset-minded Cardinal.
After Stanford struck first just 46 seconds into the contest, the Buffs reeled off six consecutive goals over a span of eight minutes, 58 seconds. Five different players recorded goals during that burst, which forced Stanford to take a timeout with 19 minutes remaining in the first half.
It proved to be a timely break in the action for the Cardinal. Afterward Stanford held CU scoreless over the next 31:22, with the guests eventually pulling to within 6-5 in the early stages of the second half.
"We had a tough stretch there, especially offensively," head coach Ann Elliott said. "I thought we did a good job keeping ourselves in the game defensively. But offensively we've just got to do a better job of putting away our shots. That's been a theme for us. We have to make sure we're focused on that inside and outside of practice."
Kiernan finally broke the scoring drought about 12 and a half minutes into the second half, and once again the floodgates opened for the Buffs. Overall CU scored four goals over the next 4:18, including three from Kiernan, reassert control over Stanford. Following Stanford's tally early in the second half, CU's defense held the Cardinal scoreless for more than 12 minutes.
Kiernan and senior Johnna Fusco paced CU's attack with four goals apiece, with Kiernan also adding a pair of assists. Senior Katie Macleay was the only other multi-goal scorer, tallying her two goals down the stretch to help keep Stanford at bay.
"We were all looking forward to this opportunity that we were lucky enough to have again to face Stanford," Macleay said. "To finally get that win against them, it's especially special since it was on senior night. It was good we were able to come back and fight and finish it off."
No. 6 Colorado 13, Stanford 8
At Kittredge FieldStanford (7-4, 2-1) 4 4—8
Colorado (12-1, 4-0) 6 7—13
Goals — Stanford: Murray 2, Salemo 2, McMahon 2, Nick, Schoen; Colorado: Kiernan 4, Fusco 4, Macleay 2, S. Brown, Cox, Stinson.
Assists — Stanford: Buness 2, Murray; Colorado: Kiernan 2, Stinson.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Stanford: DaCar (60-13-14); Colorado: Soenksen (60-8-7).