Buffs Outlast Ohio State; Improve to 3-0
BOULDER –Sadie Grozier tied a career-best six goals for the second time in three games as the University of Colorado lacrosse team put together a solid win against Ohio State, 13-10, on Sunday afternoon at Kittredge Field.
Grozier, who leads CU with 15 goals this season, scored four times in the first quarter to help the Buffs build a 6-2 lead heading into the second frame. The Buffs continued to use their momentum and extended their lead to 9-3 at halftime.
"We were ready to play," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "We pushed transition in the beginning (of the game) which helped us get a couple of quick goals. We even had an opportunity to get a few more that the goalie made good saves on. I think that transition (play) was a big factor for us (as well as) going out there and being aggressive. At the end of the day, we need to play a little bit more aggressive in the second half than we did, but we'll work on that. (The players) know they've got to get better as we get ready for this Vanderbilt team."
The Buckeyes came back in the second half of the game, outscoring the Buffs 7-4. OSU cut CU's lead to just two goals late in the third quarter and the momentum seemed to be on its side.
But Colorado came together and scored goals at the right times to stop the OSU attack and CU's junior goalkeeper, Grace Donnelly, recorded a career-high 13 saves, some of which came at key moments, to allow the Buffs to step back into the driver's seat and finish the game for their second home win of the season.
"Grace did a great job today," Whidden said. "With each game, she's getting a little more confidence and a little bit more comfortable and played well for us today when we needed her to play well."
Overall the Buffs are 3-0, while OSU is now 3-2.
WHAT HAPPENED: Colorado used a strong first quarter to build a 6-2 lead through the first 15:00 despite allowing Ohio State to score first. The Buckeye's Nicole Ferrara recorded her 10th marker of the season less than four minutes into the game off a pass from Clare Johnston.
But Grozier would quickly tie the score and give the Buffs the lead with a pair of goals 10 seconds apart at 9:47 and 9:37. Her first was unassisted but her second was off a nice pass from teammate Devon Bayer. Katie Giordano recorded the third goal for CU (7:34) before Johnston would give OSU its second of the day 30 seconds after Giordano's goal.
Colorado went right back to scoring after the Buckeye's second goal with Morgan Pence putting CU up 4-2 with her fourth of the season. Grozier scored another pair of back-to-back goals, one off a free-position attempt and the other with the assist from teammate Charlie Rudy (3:46, 3:15).
The second quarter saw the Buffs outscore OSU 3-1 to go into halftime with a 9-3 advantage.
Sam McGee scored the first goal of the third quarter to give CU a seven-goal lead, but that's when the Buckeyes started a comeback. Down 10-3, they scored four straight to cut CU's lead to three with 5:05 left in the quarter, forcing the Buffs to take a timeout. Grozier ended the OSU run with her fifth marker of the game at 3:19, but OSU came back with another two goals at 1:20 and 1:12, this time getting within two goals (11-9).
"We had trouble offensively executing," Whidden said. "I felt like (the Buckeyes) made plays. I didn't feel like we were doing a bad job defensively, but they were making more plays than we were making. Things started to shift there, but I'm proud of our team. At the end of the day, they stuck with it. They stuck together and we were able to finish out with a win here."
With just two goals separating the two as the final quarter began, the Buffs needed a goal. And that is what they got.
Chloe Willard recorded her second of the day (12:21) to put CU up by three. Then at 7:39, Grozier was given another free-position opportunity and she converted to put CU up again by four (13-9).
Ohio State's Maura McGregor cut the lead back to three with just 6:32 left, but that would be it as the Buffs held off the OSU comeback and earned their first official win at Kittredge Field of the season.
"I thought we did a good job overall," Whidden said. "I would have liked us to do a little bit better down the stretch. I thought we had a little trouble in that second half executing some good looks that we didn't finish. (We had) some errors on our end in terms of how we're supposed to play. We'll get better. We saw a couple of different defenses from them. We've just got to get a little bit better at being able to do two things at once."
NOTEWORTHY: Colorado had seven goal scorers in the game and five different players had an assist.
UP NEXT: The Buffaloes host Vanderbilt and UC Davis next week to close out a three-game homestand. Vanderbilt will visit Kittredge Field on March 4, while UC Davis will be in Boulder on March 6.
- Grozier now has 10 career man-up goals, which is tied for third in CU history
- With her one man-up goal today, Rudy now has 11 career man-up goals, which is tied for second with Johnna Fusco. Miranda Stinson has the record with 14.
- Rudy entered the game with 97 and now has 98.
- Grozier has 148 career points and scored her 19th career hat-trick with her six goals. This is the third time in four games dating back to the last game of the 2021 season that she has scored six goals in a game.
- There were eight goals scored in the first quarter, including four by Sadie Grozier
- Eight goals were also scored in the third quarter.
- This was the first full game of the season the Buffs played at Kittredge Field since their first game of the season started at Kitt but was moved indoors due to the weather.
- The Buffs are 42-11 at Kittredge Field all-time.
- This was the first meeting between the two teams but it was the 15th meeting between the two head coaches. Amy Bokker was the head coach at Stanford prior and was 8-6 against Ann Elliott Whidden. Now that lead is just 8-7 all-time.
|Points: 18||Points: 13|
|Goals: 13||Goals: 10|
|Assists: 5||Assists: 3|
|Draw Controls: 13||Draw Controls: 14|
|Ground Balls: 14||Ground Balls: 17|
|Saves: 13||Saves: 9|