STANFORD, Calif. – Colorado lacrosse senior Sadie Grozier recorded a career-high six goals, including four free-position goals, but No. 13 Stanford just had too much momentum on its side and defeated the Buffs, 17-10, on Saturday at Stanford Stadium in the title game of the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Buffs are now 8-7 while Stanford is 11-0. With the tournament title, the Cardinal earned the Pac-12 automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, while CU will have to wait for the announcement on Sunday to see if its season will be extended.
Colorado’s second half was better than the first in just about every stat category, but the one that mattered the most was draw controls. Stanford dominated the draw, winning the first 10 of the game before Zoe McElhaney won CU’s first. The Buffs ended up with two draw control wins in the first half, while SU had 13. But the second half saw a reversal with CU winning 10 and the Cardinal winning four.
“Obviously this is disappointing; not the result we were going for,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “The draw controls and possessions, turnovers in transition in the first half, really hurt us. Stanford is a really good team. When you are giving them a lot of opportunities and you don’t get a lot on your end, it’s hard to stay in the game. I thought in the second half we did a better job of battling back and winning the draw controls and trying to give ourselves more positions, but a little bit too little, too late for us.”
This was the final game for several of the Buffs, including four-year starter Julia Lisella, who has been with the team for six years. There are several other seniors on the team, including Grozier, who may or may not return with the extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.
“Our senior class put everything out there,” Whidden said. “Probably not the result they wanted, but they left it out there and they tried. They went down fighting. Sadie (Grozier) is a leader and she competes in everything she does on every inch of the field. She gave it everything she had today and we needed a little more and we didn’t have it.”
The Buffs had three named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team after the game. Julia Lisella recorded her third Pac-12 All-Tournament Team honor, while Sadie Grozier and Devon Bayer were named to the team for the first time.
The Buffs are the only Pac-12 team to play in all three Pac-12 Tournament title games and have played in the last four conference championship games dating back to the 2017 MPSF Championship game.
The Buffs will have to wait to see if they are selected to play in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
Stanford 17, Colorado 10
Colorado 4 6 — 10
Stanford 10 7 — 17
Goals — Colorado: Grozier, Sadie (6); Lawless, Zoe (2); Pence, Morgan (1); Phillips, Liz (1); Stanford: Baiocco, Ali (5); Gjertsen, Katherine (5); Kelly, Ailish (2); Watson, Mikaela (2); Griffith, Anna (1); McMahon, Daniella (1); Lew, Galen (1). Goalies — CU: Lisella, Julia 60-7-17; Stanford: Rahaim, Kara 60-13-10.