Ducks midfielder Lily Shalz (13) watches the ball during the faceoff. Oregon Ducks women's lacrosse takes on University of Colorado at Papé Field in Eugene, Ore. on April 19, 2019. (Ben Green/Emerald)

Colorado lacrosse (9-6, 8-2 Pac-12) had the hot hand early on Friday night’s game, opening up the scoring early with a goal from senior Miranda Stinson. The Ducks (3-14, 1-9 Pac-12) kept up the pace in the first half, tying the game at one with a goal from freshman Jamie Level with 23:53 on the clock.

It was ultimately not enough, however, as the No. 23 Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Oregon Ducks 14-8 in the season finale.

With two goals from Lillian Stump, and one from record-setting senior Shannon Williams, the Ducks went into halftime trailing by three to the highly ranked Buffs. Freshman goalie Rachel Hall tallied five saves in the first half, doing her best to keep the high-power Colorado offense to a minimum.

The Ducks struck first in the second half, with yet another goal from Stump. In a stellar performance that tied her season high, Stump went on to score two more goals in the second half. Accompanied by a second goal from Level, the Ducks scoring capped off at eight goals.

The defense played a relatively strong game, forcing a total of 13 turnovers on the Buffaloes’ offense. On the defensive end, the Ducks were able to keep up with the remarkable speed of the Colorado attack for the majority of the game until the Buffs finally began to pull away in the last 15 minutes of the game.

Despite the unfavorable outcome for the Ducks, the team still had a lot to be proud of.

The Ducks have no shortage of talent on the offensive side of the field. With freshmen players like Level and Carlie Leach and the sophomore Stump, they have several facets to their offensive game that will continue to grow and develop as they all gain more experience.

Stump, in particular, is beginning to really find her groove in this last month of the season. In April alone, the sophomore attacker had four multi-goal games, scoring five against Arizona State, two against Cal, three against Stanford and five in Friday night’s matchup with Colorado.

“I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Stump said. “I also want to give a huge shoutout to Shannon [Williams] for hitting me and also the rest of the offense for moving and getting open because we’ve really started to come together and create lanes for each other.”

A lot is also to be said for the Ducks’ seniors. Williams, who holds Oregon records for points and goals scored, is not only a huge difference-maker on the field, she has also played a great leadership role on the team throughout her senior season.

“Throughout the last four years I’ve been trying to get better,” Williams said. “This was the year that my years of hard work paid off.”

Looking back on her last four years as a Duck, Williams described her time at Oregon as “An incredible experience,” adding also that “anyone who has come through this program would agree in that.”

Oregon’s next game will be the first round of Pac-12 Tournament.

Head coach Chelsea Gamble said she “feels good going into the tournament,” and plans to take the tournament “day by day, not looking too far ahead into the future."

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