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After being held to just one goal in the first half against Northwestern, the Colorado Buffaloes’ offense caught fire in the second half, scoring seven goals. Unfortunately it was not enough as the 11th-ranked Wildcats defeated CU, 15-8, on Thursday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.

The loss moves the Buffs to 1-2 overall, while NU is now 3-0 to start the season.

Northwestern scored the first six goals of the game before Darby Kiernan was able to get the Buffs on the board with 4:11 left in the first half, scoring on a free-position attempt.

Unfortunately the Buffs were not able to capitalize on the momentum as the Wildcats answered back with two straight goals to finish the half (8-1).

“It was another tough game for us on the road. Northwestern played well and hard, so credit to them. We need to do a better job of competing for 60 minutes. We have competed for 30 minutes in each of our first three games, and against top teams, it isn’t good enough,” head coach Ann Elliott said. “We have to be more mentally focused and disciplined. We have a break now and will use it to regroup. We also need to get better and learn. I think there is a lot we can learn from these first three games and improve on. If we keep pushing, keep working, keep learning, we have a lot of potential, but we need to commit every day and keep pushing each other.”

NU started the second half with three straight goals (11-1), but the Buffs answered with six consecutive goals of their own. Carly Cox found the back of the net at 23:31 after a quick pass from Kiernan. Then just 40 second later, Kiernan scored her second marker of the contest after connecting on a pass from Jen Mistretta for the Buffs’ third goal of the game.

Colorado got back within four (11-7) at 15:19 when freshman Sadie Grozier tallied her third career goal after a pass from Kiernan. But that was as close as the Buffs would get.

The Wildcats ended CU’s 6-0 run at 14:09 and tallied another goal at 12:07 to regain a six-goal lead. The Wildcats went back up by seven with 7:45 left (14-7).

NU finished the game with its 15th goal with 42 second remaining as Leighton Yenor converted off a CU turnover.

Colorado will open the home portion of its season on Sunday, Feb. 25 against former MPSF rival San Diego State. That contest is set for 12 p.m. at Kittredge Field.

Northwestern 15, Colorado 8

Colorado (1-2) 1 7 — 8

Northwestern (3-0) 8 7 — 15

Goals — CU: Castillo (2); Stinson (2); Kiernan (2); Grozier (1); Cox (1); NU: Lasota (3); Nesselbush (2); Stroup (2); Yenor (2); McKone (2); Kinna (1); Girardi (1); Harker (1); Korn (1).

Assists — CU: Kiernan (3); Nemirov (2); Mistretta (1). NU: Lasota (3); Palermo (1); Kinna (1).

Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — CU: Gambitsky (30-8-6); Lisella (30-7-3); NU: Krupnick (60-8-5).

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