During a win against Dartmouth Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Colorado women’s lacrosse team was able to take over at crunch time, dominating when it mattered most to erase a subpar defensive effort.
The Buffaloes advanced thanks to a game-ending run of four consecutive goals, the first three of which were scored by senior Miranda Stinson, yet CU surrendered 28 shots on goal.
Junior goalie Julia Lisella stood tall during that barrage against Dartmouth, but it was a different story Sunday against No. 1-ranked Boston College. Unable to stem the tide against one of the most prolific attacks in the nation, CU dropped a 21-9 decision against the host Eagles.
CU once again surrendered 28 shots on goal, but this time an offense that entered the match ranked fourth in the nation in goals per game was able to convert those chances into a season-high goal total for a Buffs opponent.
It was the third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for a CU program still in only its sixth season of existence, though the Buffs have yet to survive the first weekend. Sunday’s defeat was the Buffs’ second consecutive season-ending loss in the second round.
The match was tied 3-3 a little more than 12 minutes into the first half when the Eagles erupted for 11 consecutive goals, quickly turning a competitive start into a rout for the hosts.
“I thought in the beginning we did a pretty good job of executing our plan offensively and defensively. We came up with some stops and some goals,” CU coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “Then they went up by a couple. Then we were on the attack and got a call against us, and they came down and went up by three. And from there I think we were having trouble getting possessions off the draw, we were having trouble clearing the ball. And when you give a good team so many opportunities, it’s hard.
“We gave up too many opportunities, and they capitalized.”
Boston College, which received a first-round bye as the tournament’s second overall seed, scored three free-position goals and another two while playing a man up during its decisive 11-0 first half run. The Buffs trailed 14-4 at halftime and didn’t get closer than nine throughout the second half.
Samantha Nemirov scored two goals and finished her career riding a school-record 39-game points streak. Fellow senior Miranda Stinson, who finished the season ranked second among CU’s single-season leaders in goals (64) and points (80), was held to just a lone goal in the waning seconds. It was only the third time in 19 games this season Stinson failed to score at least two goals.
Freshman Charlie Rudy attempted to pick up the slack, finishing with a season-high five goals.
“They had the ball a lot, so when our offense doesn’t have the ball it’s difficult,” Whidden said. “And then they were face-guarding Miranda. Part of our game plan was for our other players to step up. If we could get her the ball, great, but her job today wasn’t about scoring. It was about making our team better, and she did that today. She was great.”
No. 1 Boston College 21, No. 21 Colorado 9
at Boston College
Colorado (11-8) 4 5 — 9
Boston College (20-1) 14 7 — 21
Goals: Colorado — Rudy 5, Nemirov 2, Grozier, Stinson. Boston College — Apuzzo 7, Kent 4, Taylor 3, Walker 2, Rietano 2, Urbank, Medjid, Arsenault.
Assists: Colorado — None. Boston College — Kent 5, Arsenault 2, Apuzzo, Casey.
Goalies (min-goals allowed-saves): Colorado — Lisella (60-21-7). Boston College — Ngai (35-5-7); Daly (25-4-2).