Mountain Mayhem: Colorado and Denver Pull Big Upsets


Colorado opened its season with an 11-10 overtime win against No. 9 Northwestern while state rival Denver also pulled an upset, beating No. 11 Stanford.

Colorado coach Ann Elliott was a part of six national championships at Northwestern (three as a player, three as an assistant coach), but on Sunday she was reveling in the biggest win in her four years with the Buffs — an 11-10 overtime upset of her alma mater behind a monster performance by senior goalie Paige Soenksen.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain rival, Denver, also got into the fun with a 10-7 stunner over No. 11 Stanford on Sunday.

Soenksen, who helped anchor Colorado’s No. 2 ranked defense last year, made 19 saves to match her career high and lead the Buffs to the victory over No. 9 Northwestern.

Senior Katie Macleay scored the game-winner just 55 seconds into overtime to cap a wild back-and-forth affair which featured eight lead changes and neither team leading by more than one goal except for a brief 3-1 Colorado lead early in the first half.

Colorado (1-0), coming off of a 13-win season, had lost to Northwestern (2-1) in each of the previous two seasons, but this was the first time that Elliott’s mentor, Kelly Amonte Hiller, had brought Northwestern to Boulder.  

Northwestern’s Christina Esposito continued her hot start to the season with a four-goal performance, but Colorado held Wildcat star Selena Lasota to just a single tally, though it was a big one. Lasota’s goal with 10:18 to play tied the score 9-9. Colorado’s Sarah Brown put the Buffs back in front just 15 seconds later and they maintained that advantage until Esposito’s fourth goal with just 1:10 remaining tied it.

Colorado went man-up late in regulation and had a free position shot hit off the pipe with four seconds remaining before Macleay’s second goal of the game early in overtime brought home the victory for Colorado, which got three goals and an assist from sophomore Miranda Stinson.

A little further west, senior goalie Maddy Stevenson made a career-high 16 saves as Denver improved to 3-0 by winning 10-7 at Stanford.

“I am so proud of how hard the team worked this week,” said Denver head coach Liza Kelly. “They stuck to the game plan and, even though we hit a few lulls in the game, they had each other’s backs. [Maddy] Stevenson was absolutely amazing and her defense gave her the shots she wanted to see.”

Denver scored the first three goals of the game before Kelsey Murray ended Stanford’s drought at 22:41 of the first half. Kendra Lanuza answered with back-to-back goals for Denver and Stanford never got closer than two goals the rest of the way. Lanuza led Denver with four goals and Julia Feiss added three. Stevenson made 10 of her saves in the second half to hold off Stanford’s comeback attempt.

Kelly Myers and Dillon Schoen led Stanford (1-1) with two goals each.

Games of Note

Duke 20, Navy 12

No. 10 Duke improved to 3-0 with a 20-12 win over Navy that featured four Duke players — Hayley Shaffer, Grace Fallon, Kyra Harney and Olivia Jenner with hat tricks. Shaffer, a senior, had a career-high four goals. Jenna Collins scored five times for Nayv.

Louisville 9, Robert Morris 4

No. 19 Louisville won for the third straight time to open the season, beating Robert Morris 9-4 behind an eight-save performance from Brittany Read. Sophomore Megan Siverson had three goals, giving her 13 in just three games this season. Hannah Koloski and Heidi Smith also had hat tricks.

Ohio State 13, Jacksonville 12

Ohio State battled back from an early five-goal deficit and held on for a 13-12 road win at Jacksonville. Molly Wood gave Ohio State (2-0) the lead with 3:33 remaining and freshman Jill Rizzo made her 16th save of the game with under 10 seconds to play to preserve the win. Liza Hernandez and Baley Parrott each had three goals for Ohio State while Danielle Della Rocca had a hat trick for Jacksonville (0-1).

Other Scores

Lafayette 18, Longwood 3
Liberty 16, Butler 9
UC Davis 19, LIU Brooklyn 7

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