Colorado Topples Temple for Third Victory

BOULDER The season of firsts continues for the University of Colorado lacrosse team, with the Buffaloes defeating the Temple Owls 15-6 to grab their first-ever win at Kittredge Field.

The Buffs were ready for action following a bye week, picking up back-to-back wins for the first time in program history and extending their home record to a perfect 2-0. With the win, CU improves to 3-2 overall, 0-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Temple grabbed a win over MPSF opponent Oregon on Saturday, but was overpowered by the Buffs on Tuesday. The Owls slip to 2-3 on the season.

"I think obviously Temple is a great opponent," CU head coach Ann Elliott said. "We've been working on preparing for them for 10 days, really focusing in on the basics and playing together, and I thought our kids came out from that first draw with a lot of energy and played hard."

For the fourth time this season, at least two Buffs scored three or more goals. Cali Castagnola led the group career-high six points. Her five goals top her previous best of four in her Colorado debut against Stetson. Co-captain Marie Moore also impressed, scoring three goals (two off of free position shots) and contributing two assists.

Johnna Fusco continues to post one of the team's most impressive stat lines, netting two goals, adding two assists, grabbing three draw controls and scooping up four ground balls. Sophomore Sarah Lautman had two goals of her own, while Amanda Salvadore, Katie Macleay and Amelia Brown each scored one.

"It feels good," Castagnola said. "We all worked hard to make all the goals happen and transition down the field. It was a group effort, so it was great."

In goal, Paige Soenksen had one of the best performances of her young career, grabbing 18 saves off of the 32 shots she faced. She allowed just six goals total, including holding Temple to two in the first half. Soenksen had twice as many saves as both of Temples' goalies.

"It feels really good just to be out on the field with my team for the first time playing on Kittredge against a team as good as Temple," Soenksen said. "It was a great way to start on our home field, and I can't be more happy to have won."

Though the Owls outshot the Buffs 32-29, the Buffs were more on target, with 24 of their shots going on goal, compared to Temple's 24. CU was also extremely successful on the draw, controlling 15 to Temple's eight, and in ground balls, scooping up 20 to Temple's 15. Additionally, CU went 4 of 9 from the 8-meter, while Temple was only scored on three of 13 attempts.

"I think every day we have kids that are stepping up and working hard and honestly for us to be successful we need 23 leaders," Elliott said. "We need 23 kids to come out here ready and prepared to give it their all whether they're on the field or on the bench. We need everybody into it and today Cali played great, Paige came up with a bunch of big saves. We were able to come up with the ground balls off of them and that helped us be successful, but it really takes 23 people every day."

CU jumped out to a 2-0 win in the first nine minutes behind goals by Moore and Castagnola. Just over 10 minutes into the half, Temple scored its first, with Kelly Syphard scoring off an FPS. Colorado responded with more back-to-back goals to increase their lead to 4-1. The first was a killer shot from 5 meters out by Lautman. Less than six minutes later, Brown assisted Castagnola to her second.

With 4:12 remaining in the half, Nicole Tiernan helped narrow Temple's deficit to two, but it wouldn't last for long. Just under two minutes before the break, Castagnola had completed a hat trick to give the Buffs a 5-2 lead at halftime.

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