Colorado Bounces Back Against Cal
BOULDER – Colorado recorded a season-high 15 goals on Monday as it recorded its first Pac-12 win of the season, defeating California 15-5 at Kittredge Field.
The Buffaloes (3-3, 1-1 Pac-12) were led by junior Charlie Rudy's seven goals, but she wasn't the only one putting in the work as five other Buffs scored goals in the win. Ashley Stokes tallied her first hat-trick with three goals and Bailey Hawkins had a pair of markers. Devon Bayer, Zoe Lawless and Sydney Zimmerman each added a goal for CU to give the Buffs a great offensive edge.
But it wasn't just offense where the Buffs did well. CU really limited Cal's opportunities. The Bears (1-6, 0-4) only recorded three goals in the first half, compared to nine for CU. Cal took 10 shots in that first frame and while three made it on net, three were stopped by CU's goalkeeper Julia Lisella and the other six were not on goal.
"I thought we did a good job defensively, again strong 1-1 defense down there to limit Cal," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "Offensively, we did a better job sticking to the plan but we have to clean things up and get a bit more dynamic as we head into this weekend."
The second half was very similar with Cal recording 12 shots, but once again the Buffs shut the Bears down, allowing only two goals. Lisella made six saves, totaling nine for the game for a 60.0 save percentage.
"I think consistency and Julia go together," Whidden said. "You know what you are going to get from Julia on a daily basis. Sometimes you get a lot more than you expect and I think you saw that on Saturday and I think you saw that again today."
WHAT HAPPENED: The Buffs got on the board first as Bayer opened the scoring off a pass from Sadie Grozier at 23:13, but Cal responded with back-to-back markers a minute apart (20:38, 19:38) to take the lead away from CU.
After three minutes, it was the Buffs with an answer as Lawless recorded an unassisted man-up goal with 16:09 left in the first. Rudy tallied her first of the game less than two minutes later with the assist going to Grozier, before the Bears tied the game up one last time with 13:09 left on the clock in the first half.
From that point, it was all CU as the Buffaloes went on a 6-0 run to close the half, starting with Rudy scoring a man-down goal with just over 10 minutes left in the half. She would score three more goals before the end of the half, while Stokes would add the other two, giving CU the 9-3 lead heading into intermission.
The second half started quickly with Stokes finding the back of the net just over 30 seconds in for her third goal of the game of a quick pass from Chloe Willard. Rudy scored her sixth of the game a minute later to give the Buffs an 11-3 lead.
Cal put an end to the Buffs' 8-0 run at 23:56, but Rudy answered with her seventh at 23:03. The Bears would score again at 22:31, a free-position goal, but it would be the last goal for them. Neither team would score for the following 18 minutes until Hawkins would fire and find the back of the net at 4:35 for her first of the game. She scored again less than 90 seconds later to put the Buffs up 14-5. The final goal of the game was scored by Zimmerman as she converted on a free-position opportunity to give the Buffs the running clock in the final minute of play.
KEY STAT: Rudy was close to tying her career-high of eight goals, which doubles as the school record, but was able to rest on the sidelines while Whidden was able to let some other players get some valuable playing time, which will bode well for CU as the season wears on.
"The way we and the way our conference is playing, we need more girls to step up so that we can finish games strong and with energy," Whidden said. "We struggled a little bit with that against Stanford. Today was a day where we wanted to get some more of our players in there because we are going to need them after playing two games in a weekend and in a year where we haven't been playing very much."
- Charlie Rudy has scored in 11 straight games dating back to the season opener of the 2020 season.
- Sadie Grozier has recorded at least one point in each of CU's six games this season.
- Colorado has scored a man-up goal in five of six games this season.
- The Buffs have now won the last seven meetings against Cal and own the all-time series 7-2.
- CU cleared at 100%. The Buffs were 14-14 in the first half and were 11-11 in the second half.
|Points: 19||Points: 5|
|Goals: 15||Goals: 5|
|Assists: 4||Assists: 0|
|Draw Controls: 10||Draw Controls: 14|
|Ground Balls: 17||Ground Balls: 14|
|Saves: 9||Saves: 6|