Despite being outscored nine to zero in the first half, the University of Colorado lacrosse team came surging back in the second half, but its late run wouldn't be enough against Brown, falling 11-8 here Saturday night.
The Brown Bears had a defense as cold as the below freezing weather conditions, holding CU to just two first half shots. The Bears took just 50 seconds to score their first and would continue to dominate the Buffaloes for the first 30 minutes. Brown took 12 of its 17 shots in the first half, netting nine goals and holding CU's lead goalie Paige Soenksen to just two saves.
Following the intermission, Brown looked primed to dominate the game for the full 60 minutes, extending its lead to 10 with 25:30 remaining. As they've been proving in their most recent match-ups, the Buffs (who fall to 4-5 on the season) will do anything but give up in the second half. In their last three games, CU has allowed nine or more goals in the first half, while allowing just five or fewer in the second. Taking over goalkeeping duties at halftime, Sophia Gambitsky held the Browns to just two second half goals.
With Marie Moore and Johnna Fusco leading the way, CU used the final 12:30 to go on an 8-1 run, though Brown's lead would be too much to overcome in the final minutes of regulation.
"Our message really didn't change from the first half to the second half," CU coach Ann Elliott said. "It's just about working hard and being tough. We had to play in tougher conditions today but you know, so did Brown. They came out and they were tougher than us in the first half but we responded in the second half by playing our game, playing hard, and focusing on the things we could control."
Though CU dominated in ground balls, picking up an even 12 each half to Brown's 13 total, the Bears showed their strength on the draw. Averaging 15.83 draw controls per game, the eighth best in the nation, Brown won 13 draws to CU's eight. Turnovers proved a problem for both teams, with Brown and CU turning it over 21 and 19 times, respectively.
"We have to be able to play for 60 minutes," Elliott said. "The last few games we haven't put it together for 60 minutes. It's been 45 minutes, 15 minutes, but not 60. When you're playing good teams, you have to play for a full 60 and you have to be able to execute in those minutes throwing and catching. That's what we'll work on this week."