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Colorado Upsets No. 24 Stanford

Mar 25, 2022
Colorado celebrates after defeating No. 24 Stanford on Friday

BOULDER – Sam McGee scored four goals on Friday as the University of Colorado lacrosse team upset No. 24 Stanford, 17-16, at Kittredge Field.
 
Charlie Rudy and Chloe Willard added three goals apiece in the win and Grace Donnelly made nine saves, including a crucial save with 42 seconds left in the game, to give the Buffs their second ranked win of the season.
 
"For us to come out here today and execute against a really good team in a game we knew we had to win here at home, I'm really proud of all of (the players) for what they contributed offensively, defensively, and throughout," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said.
 
It was CU's first home win against Stanford since 2018 (18-16). In 2019 and 2021, the Buffs fell to the Cardinal in Boulder by one goal in each game.
 
"Towards the end, you're trying to focus on the here and now but I'm aware that the last couple of games we've had here (against Stanford) have gone to overtime," Whidden said. "(The past two games) haven't gone our way and we've had leads. For us to be able to hang on, I'm really proud of (the players)."
 
After a back and forth first quarter, the Buffaloes went on a 4-0 run to lead 8-4 with 11:13 remaining in the second quarter.
 
CU took a 10-7 lead into halftime. The Buffs had seven different players score in the first half. Rudy led the way with three goals in the half, tallying her 22nd career game with three or more goals.
 
After a Stanford goal to open the third quarter, Colorado used a 3-0 run to open its lead to 13-8.
 
The teams traded goals as the Buffaloes led 16-11 in the fourth quarter. Stanford then used a 4-0 run to get within one goal, 16-15, with 3:53 remaining in regulation.
 
CU's Katie Giordano scored a vital free-position goal with 2:47 remaining as the Buffaloes led 17-15. Stanford's Ali Baiocco answered with her fifth goal of the game 32 seconds later. A yellow-card called on the Buffaloes' Macaul Mellor with 2:08 gave Stanford a man-up advantage for the next two minutes of gameplay. However, the Buffaloes buckled down defensively and did not allow Stanford to tie the game.
 
"Stanford did a great job of fighting until the end," Whidden said. "They came back. Their best players were playing well. For a second, we lost a little bit of confidence. For us to come back and make the stops we needed to a man down, I'm proud of that. We did a good job at the end when we needed to. They kept believing in themselves."
 
With the team coming off a 1-2 stretch in road games against USC, Arizona State and Oregon, Whidden was happy with the way her team executed throughout the game.
 
"After the last two weekends, we needed to get some confidence and momentum back," Whidden said. I think we did that here today. Now, we have to continue to build off it because no game is going to be easy for us in this conference. Every game is as important as the next, so this was a good win for us. We've got to keep this going if we want to be where we want to be at the end of the season."
 
Colorado is now 7-2 (2-2 Pac-12), while is Stanford 5-5 (3-1 Pac-12).
 
WHAT HAPPENED: After the Buffaloes and Cardinal traded goals to open the game, the Buffs responded with a free-position goal from Morgan Pence with 8:32 remaining in the quarter. Willard added a goal with 5:55 left in the opening quarter to give CU a 3-1 lead.
 
Stanford's Galen Lew responded with her second goal of the game at the 5:01 mark to cut the Buffs lead to 3-2.
 
Rudy would double the Buffs' lead, 4-2 on a free-position goal with 3:47 remaining in the quarter. It was the Buffs' third free-position goal of the game to that point.
 
Stanford fought back with two goals in a 1:04 span from Katy Gilbert and Ashley Humphrey to tie the game 4-4 with 37 seconds left in the quarter.
 
CU started the scoring in the second quarter with three goals in 2:14 from McGee, Rudy and Katie Haley to take a 7-4 lead at the 11:38 mark. After a Stanford timeout, CU scored again 25 seconds later with a free-position goal from Sadie Grozier.
 
The Cardinal countered with goals from Galen Lew and Ailish Kelly to cut the Buffs' lead in half at 8-6 with 9:01 remaining in the quarter.
 
Colorado responded as Willard responded with her second goal of the game at the 5:26 mark to give CU a 9-6 lead. Thirteen seconds later, Rudy scored her third goal of the game as the Buffs reestablished their four-goal lead, 10-6.
 
Stanford got a goal from Jay Browne with 1:04 remaining to cut CU's advantage to 10-7 at halftime.
 
The Cardinal opened the scoring in the third quarter at the 14:22 mark. Colorado responded with two goals in 45 seconds from McGee's to establish a four-goal advantage at 12-8. Pence added to the scoreboard with a goal at the 11:32 mark to give CU a 13-8 lead. The three goals were scored in 1:41.
 
Lew got her third goal of the game to cut the Buffs' lead to 13-9 with 11:07 remaining in the third quarter. Ali Baiocco scored her first goal of the game for the Cardinal at the 5:21 mark to get within three goals.
 
The Buffs' countered with Grozier's second goal of the game 48 seconds later to give Colorado a 14-10 lead. Stanford scored another time before Giordano scored an unassisted goal with 0:28 to go in the period.
 
Colorado's Willard tallied her third goal at the 11:13 mark as the Buffs took a five-goal lead at 16-11. But then Stanford recorded four straight goals to cut the Buffs' lead to one (16-15) with 3:53 left to play.
 
Colorado responded 1:06 later with McGee's fourth goal in the game, a free-position goal, to take a 17-15 lead with 2:47 remaining. Baiocco answered with her fifth goal of the game as Stanford closed within one goal again with 2:15 remaining.
 
CU's Macaul Mellor received a yellow card with 2:08 remaining, giving Stanford the man-up advantage for the next two minutes. The yellow card was non-releasable.
 
With 42 seconds left, Donnelly saved a free-position shot from Stanford's Lew. The Buffaloes called timeout with 25 seconds remaining and when play restarted, CU withstood the Cardinal pressure to hold on for the one-goal win.
 
"It's hard playing a man down," Whidden said. "I'm not sure we stopped (Stanford) at any point earlier in the game when we were a man down. They do a really good job. They're just dynamic on offense. For us, we were trying to commit to the little things and make the little plays in the space and take up the space. We came up with a play at the end of the day, and we were able to finish it off. So that's exciting for us."
 
NOTEWORTHY: Sam McGee's four goals in the games were a career-high.
 
UP NEXT: The Buffaloes play Cal at Kittredge Field Sunday before they go to the Bay Area for contests at Stanford (April 1) and Cal (April 3).
 
"Cal's a good team," Whidden said. "Their record doesn't show that they are a good team. They have good players, and they play hard in the Pac-12 and compete. We're going to enjoy this (win) for a little bit. The (players) need to enjoy it after a couple of tough weeks we had on the road and build their confidence. We will get refocused tomorrow on Cal. We know this win means nothing if we can't win on Sunday. We know winning at home is important. We see these guys again next weekend at their place, so we've got to take care of business here. We'll make sure we're refocused and ready to go."
 
NOTABLE:

  • Colorado is 44-11 all-time at Kittredge Field.
  • The Buffaloes are now 5-0 at home this season.
  • CU is now 7-10 all-time against Stanford.
  • Colorado had four goals in 2:39 to take an 8-4 lead in the second quarter.
  • The Buffaloes had ten goals from seven different players in the first half.
  • Charlie Rudy recorded her 22nd career game with three or more goals.
  • Sam McGee had her third career game with three or more goals.
  • Chloe Willard tallied her fifth career game with three or more goals.
  • Devon Bayer had nine draw controls in the game, giving her 50 on the season.

 
TEAM LEADERS
 

Colorado Stanford
Points: 21 Points: 23
Goals: 17 Goals: 16
Assists: 4 Assists: 7
Draw Controls: 20 Draw Controls: 17
Ground Balls: 11 Ground Balls: 15
Saves: 9 Saves: 6