The CSU women’s lacrosse team certainly knows how to put on a show. Their one and only home game of the season, against in-state rival, CU ended in a 10-9 thriller. On senior night, nonetheless.
Coming back from behind, the Rams continually fought back against a staunch-looking CU backfield, and a speedy offensive front. It seemed each time the Rams tied it up, or pulled ahead, the Buffs came right back to retaliate.
“I was very nervous coming into this game, because I don’t like home field games,” CSU coach Lindsey Hudek said. “It’s hard to get your head into the mindset, so I knew it would be a tough game, but I didn’t think it would be that close.”
For CU’s part, they played like a well-oiled machine in what was probably their best performance of the season. CU coach Jess Tomlinson, though disappointed at the final score, was proud of the way her team performed.
“We are really excited. It’s a rivalry game, so everybody gets up for this game,” she said. “We played with a lot of heart and played really well. CSU is undefeated, so it’s always exciting to play with such competition.”
The final result remained up in the air up until the final nine seconds, when a CU forward took their final, Hail-Mary shot of the game. Sophomore goalie, Natalie Dubas snatched the ball midair, taking any remaining CU hopes with her.
“It feels really good,” Dubas said. “All of the defenders down there are seniors I love, so it felt great to be surrounded by them.”
The rest of Dubas’ teammates share her in her triumph, as they celebrate their graduating leader, and the thrill beating the Buffs always brings.
“It’s just a really fierce in-state rivalry —” Dubas begins, before being swept away in a tumultuous wave of Ram pride by her teammates and friends.
The Rams received a great fan turnout, despite the typically chilly Colorado night. Captain and honored senior, Maddie Garcia, for whom this game carried so much meaning, barely had time to slip on a sweatshirt between congratulatory hugs and smiles.
“I don’t think I could be prouder of my team,” she said. “I think we left it all out on the field and I seriously don’t think we could have played any harder. It was a great fight.”
They certainly ended their regular season on a high note, combining their support for Breast Cancer awareness, graduating seniors and biggest in-state rivalry into their most exciting game yet.
They have some time off before heading back to Boulder, for the RMWLL tournament next Friday.
Hudek, though she lets her team enjoy the hard-won victory, is critical of her team’s performance and remains cognizant of the future.
“I felt very ill-prepared for this game, the girls were frazzled about a lot of things and our heads weren’t in it,” she said. “We have to work together as a team, we can’t do it alone, and I don’t ever want to have a game like that again.”
Dubas, and the rest of the team felt a little differently, at least in the moment.
“I love games like this,” she said. “I may feel like I’m going to die, and get heart palpitations, but it’s worth it. It feels like a much better win at the end.”