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Buffs Suffer Heartbreaking OT Loss At Vanderbilt

Feb 21, 2021
Senior Zoe Lawless scored three goals against Vanderbilt

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Colorado lacrosse team was unable to hang on to its lead late in the second half and fell in overtime, 11-10, to Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon.
"Not the way we wanted to start the season, 0-2 on the road," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "We have to take it personally and we have to believe we can be better, we should be better. No excuses on our end, we didn't make enough plays to win the game. We have a fairly experienced team, but we continue to make the same mistakes. This team has a lot of potential but we have to decide how badly we want it and start making changes."
Junior Charlie Rudy and senior Zoe Lawless each had a hat-trick in the contest, and four other Buffaloes contributed one goal apiece. Despite CU's offensive output, the Buffs were unable to keep the Commodores off the board and every time CU started to pull away, Vanderbilt came right back.
"Right now we have a lot to prove to ourselves and we have to commit to doing the work," Whidden said. "It is unacceptable to shoot the way we are; it's unacceptable to have to consistently tell someone to play defense with their feet. We know the importance but we aren't doing the little things. Maybe we think we are better than that? If that is the case, hopefully, we understand now where we are actually at.
"Our staff is accountable and we will figure out what adjustments we need to make to personnel, systems and practice so this team can get better. Clearly, I am not doing enough and have to figure out how to demand more from all of us. We have a long way to go, the most work any team of mine has ever had ahead of them but we have the potential to still do great things if we choose to commit to the work."
WHAT HAPPENED: The Commodores scored the first two markers of the game just over two minutes into the contest. But the Buffs would stampede back with a 4-0 run to take their first lead.
Lawless earned her first at 24:06 with an assist from Sadie Grozier and then Chloe Willard tied the game up 20 seconds later after finding the back of the net after a quick pass from Rudy.
Then it was Rudy's turn. She gave CU its first lead at 21:49 after converting from an Ashley Stokes' pass and then at 17:43 she recorded an unassisted goal to put CU up 4-2.
The two teams would go back-and-forth as they were very evenly matched. Vandy scored next to end CU's run, but Bailey Hawkins would score for the Buffs at 12:50 to give them back the lead (5-3). Before the half ended, Vandy scored a pair of goals to even the contest.
Lawless opened the scoring again in the second half less than two minutes in, and Stokes recorded her first colligate goal at 24:10, putting CU up 7-5. Vandy got a goal from Maddie Souza to break up the little run, but the Buffs added another two goals from Lawless (17:21) and Liz Phillips (16:45) to give CU a 9-6 advantage.
Vanderbilt took a timeout, and out of the break, the Commodores answered with a goal (16:35). Vandy had found some momentum during the timeout and scored another at 15:49 to cut the CU lead to one (9-8). Then at 14:39, the Commodores scored the equalizer.
The Buffs were not finished fighting. Rudy picked up her third of the game with just over 11 minutes left, once again putting Colorado back in front. But with just over five minutes to play, Paige Finneran scored the 10th goal for Vandy, once again tying the contest.
The two sides would have opportunities in the next five minutes, but turnovers proved costly and neither team could convert. Just four seconds left in regulation, Vandy's Mikela McCauley received a yellow card and the Commodores would start a man-down. It was the opportunity the Buffs were looking for, but first, they needed to win the draw.
Vandy won the opening draw of overtime and just 1:15 into the overtime period, snuck the game-winner past CU's goalkeeper Julia Lisella, who had totaled nine saves in the game, including six in the second half.
KEY STATISTIC: Once again the Buffaloes were not able to convert on their free-position opportunities, going 1-4. They were 0-3 in the first half but were 1-1 in the second.

  • This was the first meeting between the two teams
  • Ashley Stokes scored her first career goal
  • Zoe Lawless recorded her fourth career hat-trick
  • Charlie Rudy and Liz Phillips have now scored in seven straight games dating back to the season opener of the 2020 season


Colorado Vanderbilt
Points: 14 Points: 17
Goals: 10 Goals: 11
Assists: 4 Assists: 6
Draw Controls: 13 Draw Controls: 10   
Ground Balls: 11 Ground Balls: 13
Saves: 9 Saves: 13

UP NEXT: Colorado comes home to Boulder to host Denver on Sunday, February 28, at 1 p.m.