Get the game to crunch time and Sarah Lautman knows what to do.
For the second time in three days, the Colorado sophomore delivered a game-winning goal in overtime, lifting the Buffaloes' lacrosse team to a 7-6 victory against San Diego State on Sunday at Kittredge Field.
"It was a whole team effort, with Johnna (Fusco) coming and setting that pick and it was just wide open for me to take it," Lautman said of her game-winner, which came with 2:01 to play in the second sudden-victory period. "With all the elements, you just want to take every opportunity you get and just fire it home."
CU (8-6, 5-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) won for the fourth time in its last five games and moved into fourth place in the conference standings. SDSU (6-7, 3-3) has lost six straight.
It was a cold and snowy afternoon, with the snow increasing as the game wore on. CU grounds crew drove tractors to clear the field at halftime and again before the final overtime.
"It just got more slippery (throughout the day)," Lautman said of the field. "We didn't let it get to us, and came out with the win."
Tied 6-6 at the end of regulation, the teams were scoreless through the first six-minute overtime, which is split into two 3-minute periods. Then, the game went to sudden-victory and remained tied through the first 3-minute period. Lautman then got an opportunity to win it and she didn't miss.
Lautman also scored the game-winner at the overtime buzzer on Friday in the Buffs' 12-11 win against Southern Cal.
"She's a fighter, I think, and when the pressure is on, she can step up and make plays," CU head coach Ann Elliott said.
Lautman had a season-high four goals to lead the Buffs, while Marie Moore had the Buffs' other three goals. Goalie Paige Soenksen came up huge, too, with 12 saves.
CU trailed most of the game, getting off to a slow start offensively. With 19 minutes, 8 seconds to go in regulation, Moore tied the game at 5-5 with her second goal in 52 seconds.
Lautman then gave CU its first lead, 6-5, with 3:37 to go, but the Aztecs tied the game with 55 seconds to go in regulation.
Soenksen had five of her 12 saves in overtime to keep the Buffs in the game.
"Our defense made my job a little easier," Soenksen said. "They did a really good job of pushing the attacker to go outside and take outside shots."
Together, Soenksen and the CU defense held SDSU to just two goals in the final 40 minutes, while the offense generated five goals in that time.
Elliott, who played and previously coached at Northwestern, has plenty of experience in cold-weather and snowy games, but prior to Sunday, her Buffs had not fared so well in the bad weather. They lost twice in cold weather at Massachusetts and New Hampshire and lost their only other snow game before Sunday, March 22 against Brown.
"We have struggled a lot in the other three games that we played where it was cold and snowy," Elliott said. "I thought we came out hard in the beginning and we were playing well and the best we've played in cold weather. As the snow picked up, you knew it was going to be an ugly game on both sides. You just had to keep fighting and at the end, you needed someone to step up and make a play and Sarah did that for us."
Prior to Friday, all of CU's game had been decided by at least three goals. Now they've won back-to-back one-goal overtime games. ... Moore had her sixth three-goal game of the season.