Colorado Snaps USC Streak on Buzzer-Beater

    USC sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer had 13 saves against Colorado.

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    April 11, 2014

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    BOULDER, Colo. - The USC women's lacrosse team (7-5, 5-1 MPSF) had its four-game winning streak halted by Colorado (7-6, 4-2 MPSF) on Friday, April 11, at Kittredge Field, as the Buffalo put a fortunate rebound back into the net for a 12-11 buzzer-beating goal in overtime.

    Sophomore goalie Liz Shaeffer put up a valiant 13-save performance but couldn't get in front of the final shot. On the other side of the field, Paige Soenksen collected 15 saves for the win and made a pair of diving saves to preserve a slim 11-10 lead for Colorado at the end of the first three-minute overtime period.

    Four Trojans scored at least two goals. Freshman Alex Moore had three and one of USC's four assists. Her final goal knotted the score at 11-all with just 42 seconds left in the second overtime period. Moore also had two ground balls, a draw control, and a caused turnover. Sophomores Amanda Johansen and Caroline de Lyra each scored twice. De Lyra had three ground balls to tie for team-high honors with Elizabeth Eddy while Johansen also had two draw controls.

    Freshman Annie Ruland scored twice and had an assist to go with a ground ball and a caused turnover. Freshman Michaela Michael had three draw controls to lead the Trojans and scored one goal. Junior Kaila Sommi scored a goal on an eight-meter attempt. Defensively, the Trojans grabbed 18 ground balls. Freshman Gabby McMahon had two as did sophomore Courtney Tarleton who contributed a pair of caused turnovers as well. Freshman Nina Kelty had two caused turnovers and an assist. Freshman Kate Pederson had two draw controls.

    For the Buffaloes, Johnna Fusco led the way with four goals with two on free-position attempts. Fusco also had an assist and three draw controls to overcome her four turnovers. Katie Macleay and Sarah Lautman each had three goals apiece. Lautman scored on several long-distance shots and had the final goal of the 12-11 win. Amelia Brown led all players with six ground balls while Amanda Salvadore had four.

    The Buffs scored the game's first goal at 25:40. Down a player because of a yellow card, Fusco earned the eight-meter attempt and put the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. It took almost four minutes, but the Trojans answered with a free-position goal by Johansen to tie the score at one-all at 21:50. CU went ahead, 2-1, when Macleay rolled the crease and went top shelf against Shaeffer for the goal.

    Colorado won the game's first four draws but the Trojans fought back to tie the score on their next possession as Ruland rolled the back of the CU crease before she hit a cutting Michael who beat Soenksen low for the two-all tie. Less than 40 seconds later, a Pederson draw control let USC take its first lead when de Lyra dropped a pass off to Ruland who scored on a sharp angle for the 3-2 advantage.

    Colorado made good on a couple of USC turnovers as Lautman scored on a free-position shot at 13:00 for a three-all tie and Fusco went the length of the field following a CU clear for a goal and a 4-3 Buffalo lead. Ruland dumped a shot over her shoulder off a pass from Moore to get the Trojans a tie at four-all with 9:01 left in the half before Moore's free-position goal at 5:06 on a man-up opportunity put USC up, 5-4. With under a minute to go, a Trojan breakaway resulted in a dangerous propelling yellow card that CU used to tie the game at five-all on Fusco's third goal of the half.

    The Trojans weren't done though. With just 14 seconds left on the clock, USC only needed 12.5 as Johansen claimed the draw and passed it to a sprinting McMahon who hit de Lyra for the shot and the goal for a 6-5 lead with just 1.2 seconds left in the half.

    Right out of the gates, the Trojans opened the second half with a pair of goals: the first from Moore who scored at 29:04 from beyond the 12-meter fan when USC forced Soenksen into a turnover after she left the crease. The second came from Johansen who found the back of the cage on a free-position shot at 28:25. USC's three-goal lead lasted less than a minute as a costly turnover allowed the Buffs to clear the field for a goal by Macleay. Macleay scored a second goal within two minutes to pull the Buffaloes within one at 8-7 when she took a pass from Fusco as the Trojans returned to full strength following a yellow card issued to Kelty.

    USC pushed its lead back to two goals as Sommi scored on an eight-meter attempt with 16:39 left on the clock, but another Trojan yellow card allowed the Buffaloes to run their offense. Fusco scored her fourth goal of the game at 9:56 on her own eight-meter shot to pull CU within a goal at 9-8. Colorado tied the game for the sixth time when Lautman wailed a shot from beyond the 12-meter fan that went over Shaeffer's shoulder to knot the score at nine-all at 7:32.

    The Trojans won the next draw and set up their offense. Patience in their set piece helped earn Johansen a free-position attempt that she dropped off to de Lyra on the left side of the goal. De Lyra's first shot bounced off Soenksen, but she quickly grabbed the rebound out of midair and put it back to break the tie and give USC a 10-9 lead at 6:14. Despite being down a player, the Buffaloes scored with 2:29 left on the block to tie the score at 10-all at the end of regulation.

    In the first overtime period, the Buffaloes won the draw control and burned nearly the entire clock before Castagnola went cross-body to beat Shaeffer in the top right corner with 18 seconds left to play. The Trojans won the next draw and raced down the field. Johansen dodged her way to the goal and took the shot, but Soenksen stopped it. McMahon grabbed the rebound and flipped it towards the open goal, but Soenksen laid out to block the shot and hold onto the 11-10 lead.

    In the second overtime period, Moore earned a free-position shot at the 44-second mark and dove to the goal to beat Soenksen one last time and tie the score at 11-all with 42 seconds left on the clock. The Trojans won the ensuing draw control, but a turnover sent the Buffs the other direction. With just 3.1 seconds left to go, Castagnola set up at the eight-meter arc. Her shot bounced off the ground before Shaeffer made the save, but a bounce in the air put the ball right into Lautman's stick who shot and scored with no time left on the clock.

    USC is back in action on Sunday, April 13, against Denver (12-1, 6-0 MPSF). The Trojans and the Pioneers will take the field at noon MT at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver. The venue will also serve as host to the 2014 MPSF Tournament, May 1-4. For more information and a complete USC schedule, please visit