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The Colorado lacrosse team started slow and were not able to overcome the first-half deficit, falling 12-9 on Thursday in the 2021 season-opener against Louisville at U of L Stadium.

“Obviously this was not the result we were hoping for,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “You try to get all the rust off in practice and put your team in a game-like atmosphere but it’s hard to simulate. Every possession is important and the small plays win the games.

The Buffs were led by Saidie Grozier who scored four goals in the loss. Charlie Rudy and Liz Phillips contributed two goals each. Ally Hall had four goals for the Cardinals.

Colorado goalie Julia Lisella made gave all 12 goals and also had 12 saves.

“We had a slow start, and Louisville took advantage,” Whidden said. “They outworked us on the little things and capitalized on their opportunities, where we did not. Now we remember what this feels like to play after a year.”

The Buffaloes seemed to get more aggressive in the second half after they got used to playing again. They scored four goals in the first and five in the second half, but they also limited the Cardinals’ opportunities in the second half, allowing them to score half of what they scored in the first frame (8-4).

Colorado heads to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Sunday. That game is set to begin at 10 a.m.

Louisville 12, Colorado 9

Colorado 4 5  — 9
Louisville 8 4 — 12

Goals — CU: Grozier, Sadie (4); Rudy, Charlie (2); Phillips, Liz (2); Bayer, Devon (1); UL: Ally Hall (4); Caroline Blalock (3); Hannah Morris (2); Kylea Dobson (2); Alex McNicholas (1). Assists — CU: Stokes,Willard (1), Chloe Ashley (1); UL: Hannah Morris (1),  Caroline Blalock (1),  Ally Hall (1); Maggie Foster (1), Kokoro Nakazawa (1); Alex McNicholas (1). Goalies – CU: Lisella 60-12-12; UL: Florek 60-9-9.