The University of Colorado lacrosse team looks to bounce back from a three-game losing skid as it hosts its first ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation home game. The Buffaloes (4-5 overall, 1-1 MPSF) take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Friday, March 28 at Kittredge Field. First draw is at 3 p.m.
SCOUTING THE SAINT MARY’S GAELS: The Gaels are still searching for their first win at 0-5 overall, 0-3 MPSF. Each of the Gaels’ defeats have been by six of more goals, with their closest match a 20-14 loss to conference opponent California to open the season. Last week, St. Mary’s fell 16-4 to No. 15 Stanford. St. Mary’s is last in the conference in shot percentage at .378, and ranks ninth in shots per game (22.20), goals per game (8.40), assists per game (3.20) and points per game (11.60). The Gaels do find success on the ground, ranking third in the MPSF in ground balls, averaging 17.20 per game. Though the Gaels turn the ball over a conference-high average of 23.20 times per game, they also cause a nation-leading 15.00 per game. The Gaels have scored just 42 goals this season, nine coming from free-position shots, with senior Allie DeBruhl leading the way with 12 goals. Eight other Gaels have scored, with four scoring four or more. Junior Jaclyn Biggers has taken a team-high 28 shots, netting eight goals and contributing three assists. Senior Rachel Minarovich soundly dominates the draw, winning 30 draw controls, which rank sixth-best in the nation. Freshman goalie Sydney Pinello (a Colorado Springs, Colo. native) has grabbed a nation-leading 11.00 saves per game, while allowing a conference-high 18.13 goals per game.
LIVE STREAM: Can’t make it to the game? Watch the live stream at buffs.me/buffslive.
LAST TIME OUT: Despite the Brown Bears outscoring the Buffs nine to zero in the first half (marking just the second time CU has had a scoreless half – the first was against then-No. 18 Denver), CU closed the game on an 8-1 run, but it wouldn’t be enough, falling 11-8 last Saturday. The 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 overpower the Buffs for the first 30 minutes. Brown took 12 of its 17 shots in the first half, netting nine goals and holding Paige Soenksen to just two saves. Following the intermission, Brown looked primed to continue dominating the game, extending its lead to 10 with 25:30 remaining, but the Buffs refused to go down without a fight. Taking over goalkeeping duties at halftime, Sophia Gambitsky held Brown to just two second half goals. Marie Moore recorded a hat-trick and Johnna Fusco scored a career-high four goals to lead CU on an 8-1 run in the final 12:30, though Brown’s lead would be too much to overcome in the final minutes of regulation. CU dominated in ground balls, picking up an even 12 each half to Brown’s 13 total, but 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.
WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM: The Buffs are 2-1 at home this season, defeating Regis 13-10 at Folsom Field in their inaugural home game and taking down Temple 15-6 in their first ever home game at Kittredge Field. Last Saturday, CU suffered its first ever home loss, falling to Brown 11-8.