Colorado Takes Down USC in Final Second of Overtime

BOULDER As the horn was sounding the end of the overtime period, Sarah Lautman hammered one into the net to give the University of Colorado lacrosse team the 12-11 victory and hand USC its first conference defeat of the season.

The Buffaloes and Women of Troy were tied eight times, with USC grabbing a three-goal lead on two separate occasions. Colorado scored four of the final five goals of regulation, and Cali Castagnola tied the game at 10-10 with 2:29 remaining. The tie would hold at the end of 60 minutes, sending the game into overtime (which consists of two three-minute periods and an extra six minute sudden victory period if the game remains tied).

As the first three minutes of overtime were winding down, Castagnola powered through once more, scoring off a Marie Moore assist 18 seconds before the teams switched sides. USC looked to force a sudden victory after tying the game back up off a free position shot in the final 42 seconds.

But as they've shown all season, the Buffs thrive in late game situations. With the last seconds ticking away, Castagnola shot from the left, forcing a diving save from USC keeper Liz Shaeffer. Despite coming up with the solid save, the low shot got back on the ground, and Lautman capitalized on the bounce. One second remained on the board as she forced the game-winner in from just right of the crease.

"I really just saw the ball on the ground and all you can do at that point is pick it up," Lautman said. "I saw the [USC] goalie wasn't in the net and I just tried to get it in, and it went in. It was totally just a reaction, Cali did the right thing by taking that shot and we got the rebound. When you see a rebound, you want to get it; you want to get that goal."

The win is the biggest of CU's inaugural season. In their first ever taste of overtime play, the Buffs got their fourth Mountain Pacific Sports Federation win and ended USC"s four-game winning streak, giving the Women of Troy their first loss in conference play. The Buffs improve to 7-6 overall, 4-2 MPSF as CU head coach Ann Elliott gets her first win over a former teammate. After facing two Northwestern alumni in the Buffs' losses to then-No. 9 Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Elliott and the Buffs take down her former teammate and NU coaching staff companion Lindsey Munday.

After four consecutive conference wins, the second-year Women of Troy see their perfect conference run end at the hands of the inaugural Colorado squad. USC, who entered the game tying for the second-best overall record in the MPSF, slip to 7-5, 5-1.

"USC is a very good team, they are well-coached and for us to come out here and compete and have that excitement about us is a big win for us," Elliott said. "Every conference game is so important at this point, we're lucky we have a couple of them at home."

The game was even in nearly every way. The teams each took 28 shots and won 10 draw controls. Through CU had more turnovers (21 to 17) and fouls (25 to 18), the Buffs grabbed the upper-hand on ground balls, 23-18. CU had 12 successful clears out of 15 attempts, while USC went 11 of 16. USC got to the 8-meter twice as many times as CU, but only netted two more free position goals (five to three), though the Trojans went one for one in overtime play.

"In a way, I think close games are more fun because you have to have that as a team, and you have to have that will to pick up that ground ball," Lautman said. "As a team, I think we really handled the pressure well and we stepped up for the challenge. It definitely shows with the win."

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