DENVER – When CU attacker Amy Long sent the first-ever women’s Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Showdown into overtime with eight minutes left in the second half, CSU midfielder Lisa Long wasn’t about to be outdone by the rival Buffaloes – or by her twin sister, for that matter.
“I got mad when she scored,” Lisa Long said.
Two minutes into the first overtime, Lisa turned that anger into a game-winning goal, putting the Rams ahead 6-5 before Ashley Gaume made it a 7-5 final Saturday evening at Invesco Field at Mile High.
With the CSU victory, and a hat trick by Amy, the Long sisters had little to complain about afterward.
“(Amy) had a really, really good game, so she wasn’t that disappointed,” Lisa said. “She didn’t really say much because playing at Invesco was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The game had no playoff implications, but the No. 2 Rams say their victory gives them crucial momentum heading into next week’s national championship in Denver, where they will face No. 15 Minnesota in the first round on May 8.
CSU senior Brooke Lewis was outstanding in goal, making several key saves to take home the game’s MVP honors.
“This was huge going into nationals,” Lewis said. “We couldn’t lose, we had to have this one.”
Lewis and the Rams’ defense turned in what CSU coach Bob Vlahakis called a “gutsy performance.”
“Brooke came up huge,” Vlahakis said. “She started out the year playing really well, then she had a little slump midway through, but she’s been playing unbelievable lately.”
CSU fell behind by two in the first half, but two goals in the final five minutes of the half tied the game at 3 going into the break.
The teams then traded goals in the second half, capped off by Amy Long’s game-tying score.
CSU’s Lindsay Brown and Erin O’Brien each scored two goals to lead the Rams offensively.
“The girls just played their hearts out,” Vlahakis said.
Sports Editor Sean Star can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.