With first place in the Pac-12 Conference on the line, the No. 16 Colorado Buffaloes and No. 12 Stanford Cardinal knew their game on Friday night was going to be a battle; so it was fitting that after regulation, the two were tied 10-10 and needed an overtime period to determine the top of the Pac-12.
In the overtime, both teams had their chances. But it was the Buffs who emerged victorious after junior Samantha Nemirov scored her second goal of the game 2:49 into the period, giving the Buffs the 11-10 win in Stanford, Calif.
The win moves the Buffs to 7-1 in league play (10-4 overall) with two games left in the regular season. Stanford is now 11-4 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12.
“We knew going into this game it was going to be a battle. Stanford is a really good team and is dangerous in so many ways” Colorado coach Ann Elliott said. “I thought we did a good job being aggressive from the start, offensively and defensively. I’m proud of our effort and ability to continue to fight and play for each other even through some mistakes. We need to tighten some things up on both ends as we move into Sunday and learn from our mistakes tonight. We know Sunday is going to be another tough test on the road, against a good Cal team. So, we will regroup tonight and get refocused on Sunday.”
Colorado scored a pair of goals within 21 seconds of each other to put CU up 2-0 in the first four minutes of the game. Freshman Sadie Grozier tallied the first marker of the game at 26:56 and then senior Sarah Brown recorded a free-position goal at 26:35. Nemirov kept the scoring going for the Buffs with a goal at 13:45, giving CU a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinal eventually scored its first goal of the game at 12:50 as Galen Lew found the back of the net off a quick pass from Kelsey Murray.
CU responded with another pair of goals to go up 5-2. Junior Miranda Stinson notched her first of the game at 11:16 on a free-position attempt. Less than two minutes later, junior Sophie Castillo found the back of the net after a pass from freshman Devon Bayer.
At that point, the Cardinal took a timeout. Stanford scored the final two goals of the half to bring the score within two (5-3). The Buffs’ redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Julia Lisella played well in the first half, making seven saves.
Stinson struck first in the second half, scoring her second goal just 32 seconds into the frame to put the Buffs up 6-3. Castillo then tallied her second of the day off a pass from Nemirov at 25:46 (7-3).
The Cardinal did not wait long to respond, scoring at 25:25. Stanford added another goal at 23:49 to cut the lead to a pair (7-5).
After being shutout in the first half, senior Darby Kiernan earned her first goal of the contest at 20:22 on a free-position attempt. The three-goal lead lasted for five minutes before the Cardinal found the back of the net to once again bring SU within two (8-6). Stanford cut the lead to one with 14:35 left in the game.
Brown won the following draw control and right in front of the goal, SU’s Dillon Schoen ran into her. Schoen was issued a yellow card for the charge, giving the Buffs a woman-up advantage. CU made the Cardinal pay as Grozier scored the third woman-up goal of her career at 13:54. CU kept the momentum on its side and Kiernan notched her second marker of the game at 12:49 (10-7).
Again Stanford had an answer for the Buffs, scoring at 11:22 and brought the game within a goal with 6:18 left to play (10-9). The Cardinal tied the game up with just 1:13 left to play and was able to force overtime with the Buffs.
The two sided battled in the extra period, but Nemirov ended the game with her second goal at 2:49.
Colorado 11, Stanford 10
Colorado (10-4, 7-1) 5 5 1 — 11
Stanford (11-4, 6-2) 3 7 0 — 10
Goals — CU: Stinson (2); Castillo (2); Grozier (2); Nemirov (2); Kiernan (2); (1); STANFORD: Lew (3); Schoen (3); Buness (2); McMahon (2).
Assists — CU: Nemirov; Stanford: Murray (6).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — CU: Lisella (62-10-14); STANFORD: DaCar (62-11-7).