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It was a game that lived up to the billing between a pair of top-20 opponents, but CU lacrosse found itself just short of the win, falling 11-10 to Florida on Saturday in Gainesvillle, Fla.

“Obviously this was a disappointing loss for us,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “I was proud that we were able to keep fighting and keep ourselves in the game. But we hurt ourselves a lot in the first half by undisciplined plays and letting emotions dictate our play, that isn’t who we are and that won’t happen again. In second half, we did better job of being disciplined emotionally but we just didn’t make enough plays.”

The Gators (1-0) entered the game ranked 14th and the Buffs (0-1) are 18th in the IWLCA Preseason Poll. This was the second time in as many years that the two have met to start their seasons and both times, Florida has come out on top.

Colorado got four goals from junior Sadie Grozier, but another junior, Zoe Lawless, made an impact on offense by scoring three goals in just the fifth game of her career. Sophomore Liz Phillips recorded three assists for CU and led the Buffs with five draw controls. Defensively, senior Julia Lisella made 13 saves while junior Eliza Cahill and senior Anna Collawn each had two caused turnovers.

“We have a lot of talent on this team and a lot of potential, but we didn’t make the plays when we needed too and Florida did,” said Whidden. “That will be a focus moving forward, we need to thrive in those moments and now we understand what those moments are. We have two weeks before we play again and which gives us a lot of time to focus on ourselves and get better.”

Colorado will play its home opener on Feb. 21 against Harvard at Kittredge Field. Opening draw is slated for 4 p.m.

Florida 11, Colorado 10

Colorado 6 4 —  10
Florida 6 5 — 11

Goals — CU: Grozier (4); Lawless (3); Rudy (1); Kingdom (1); Willard (1); UF: Harris,Brianna (5); Kavanagh,Shannon (4); Heller,Emily (2)

Assists — CU: Phillips (3), Mistretta (2), Hawkins (1); UF: Mardiney (3), Puglisi (2), Heller (1)

Goalies — CU: Lisella 60-11-13; UF: Reznick 60-10-11