Lautman Helps Colorado Edge San Diego State in 2OT

BOULDER – Though the conditions couldn't have been more different, the finish was nearly the same, with Colorado's Sarah Lautman netting an OT game-winner to help her team to victory. After an extra-minutes buzzer-beater on Friday to push the Buffaloes over USC, Lautman once again gave CU its late push, scoring the sudden victory goal here Sunday in a 7-6 win over San Diego State.

“I think it's really big for our team,” Lautman said. “It shows that we can dig deep and when it matters, we can play hard and play hard through everything until the last minute.”

With a reading of 34 degrees on the thermometer at opening draw, snowy and overcast conditions seemed to slow both teams' rhythms. SDSU went into the break up 4-2, but the Buffs, who managed just 11 shots in regulation, outscored the Aztecs four to two in the second half to send the game into extra minutes.

The Aztecs took six shots in overtime play, while limiting the Buffs to two, but CU once again showed its late game strength. Over four minutes ticked away as the teams both pushed for a sudden victory in the final minutes of overtime, and Lautman hammered one home to claim the win.

“In all honesty, we have struggled a lot in the other games we played when it was cold and snowy,” CU head coach Ann Elliott said. “I thought we came out hard in the beginning and we were playing well, the best we've played in the cold weather. As the snow picked up you knew it was going to be an ugly game on both sides and you had to just keep fighting and you needed someone to pick up and make a play. Sarah did that for us.”

After recording her second hat trick in Friday's 12-11 OT win against USC, Lautman had another performance for the books against SDSU. She netted a career-high four goals and took six of CU's 13 shots.

“She's a fighter,” Elliott said of Fusco. “I think and when the pressure's on, she can step up and make plays. We have a lot of kids on this team that can do that and it's exciting to see her do that back-to-back.”

Marie Moore had the sixth hat trick of her young career, going two for two from the 8-meter. She won a game-high six draw controls and tied a team-high four ground balls. CU goalie Paige Soenksen continues to impress between the pipes, grabbing 12 saves and scooping up a career-high four ground balls.

“I think for me, our defense made my job a little easier than it would have been without them,” Soenksen said. “They did a really good job pushing the attacker to go outside to take outside shots which have worse angles so you have a better chance of saving them.

“We did pretty well keeping them off the 8-meter which helps because that's just a one and done shot and those are way harder. I think the team did a good job of getting knock downs of ground balls within the 8-meter right outside the crease which helps me a lot and made me look better.”

Though SDSU outshot CU 24 to 13 (18 to 11 in regulation and six to two in overtime), CU edged SDSU in ground balls 19 to 18 and won twice as many draw controls (12 to six). The Buffs turned the ball over 22 times, while the Aztecs had 16 errors. The Aztecs had six free-position shots, but scored zero goals from the 8-meter.

Colorado is already proving its strengths in its first season of play, extending its record to 8-6 overall, 5-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Both of CU's conference defeats have been against ranked opponents. In their last two games, the Buffs have taken down conference opponents in overtime play.

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