Published: Dec. 1, 2014 By

Sarah Lautman

The Game Winner

Last spring Sarah Lautman (Engr’15), a chemical and biological engineering major from Massachusetts, joined the women’s lacrosse team as a walk-on — and came up big during the team’s inaugural season, scoring game-winning overtime goals three times. Lautman was one of four CU players to tally at least 25 goals as the Buffs went 11-8 in 2014, their first season as a varsity sport.

Is high-pressure performance something you take pride in?

It just feels good to get a win, and in those tight situations it’s that much better, because you’re [thinking], ‘I pushed that extra second. I took that extra step.’ That’s what’s really exciting about it. As a team, we all just play to the last second, no matter if it’s three overtimes or whatever.

Did the team exceed expectations in the first season?

A big part of our team is not to have expectations. We go out every day and we play our hardest, whether it’s practice, a scrimmage or a conference game. We just want to do our best. I think that’s what’s pushed us so far. It pretty much comes down to, we want to play. Being successful is just the icing on the cake.

What has it been like to be part of building a program from scratch?

For me it was a little different, because I was already at the school for two years, and so I walked on to the program [after playing on the CU club team]. When they announced they were adding a [varsity] team, for me it was exciting to be a part of something new and to be someone who could start tradition, start history. I think it’s really cool to be able to lay a foundation for CU.

When did you really get into lacrosse?

About third grade. My dad started the youth program in my town [Reading, Mass.]. He was always a big part of what I did. He played in college, and he coaches the boys team at my high school. It wasn’t until high school, when I was the only freshman to make the varsity team, that I really fell in love with the sport. Learning more every time I played really got me into it.

I see you’re majoring in chemical and biological engineering, a tough field of study. Why did you pick the major, and how do you manage that kind of academic load and varsity athletics?

I just love science. I’ve always loved biology and wanted to go into that. And medicine is really interesting. Time management is definitely a key strategy, because I have practice for three or four hours a day, then I have to go to class for another three or four hours, then I have to get all my studies in…I feel like lacrosse gives me that extra incentive to do better in class so I can do better on the field — that kind of [mutually reinforcing] thing. I think it’s really important to have that balance.

Photography by Glenn Asakawa