No. 23 Buffs Start Pac-12 Play Against No. 17 USC And ASU
BOULDER — The Colorado Buffaloes start the 2022 Pac-12 Conference lacrosse season with a pair of road games this week against Southern California and Arizona State.
The first game is against USC on Friday, March 11. It is scheduled for a 4 p.m. MT start at McAlister Field in Los Angeles and will be streamed on Pac-12 Plus. The second game of the trip will take the Buffs to Tempe, Ariz., for a match-up with ASU on Sunday, March 13. It will begin at 12 p.m. MDT at ASU Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium and will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
Links to the stream for Friday and the live stats for both games are available at CUBuffs.com.
ABOUT COLORADO: The Buffaloes are off to their second-best start in school history after recording five straight wins to start the season. Four of their wins have come at home (Louisville, 14-13-OT; Ohio State, 13-10; No. 16 Vanderbilt, 18-11, UC Davis 17-13) and one has been on the road (Harvard, 12-6). The Buffs are one of 10 undefeated programs left in the NCAA Division I.
The 5-0 start has earned CU national attention as Colorado finally broke into the rankings after receiving votes the last month. The Buffs are No. 23 in the IL Women/IWLCA Poll and No. 19 in the USA Lacrosse Magazine Poll.
Colorado defeated Vanderbilt and UC Davis last week and those wins garnered three different Buffaloes honors. Charlie Rudy was tabbed the USA Lacrosse Magazine Division I Women's Player of the Week after scoring 10 points (8g, 2a) in the two games. Chloe Willard was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for her performance as she also recorded 10 points (6g, 4a) and Devon Bayer was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after recording 17 draw controls, including a career-high 14 against UC Davis.
CU leads the Pac-12 and ranks sixth in the NCAA in free-position percentage (0.595). Rudy is fourth in the NCAA in free-position goals per game (1.80) and ranks 28th in FP percentage (0.692). Sadie Grozier is 11th in the NCAA in free-position goals per game (1.40) and ranks 27th in FP percentage (0.700). Rudy and Grozier are first and second in the Pac-12, respectively, in free-position goals per game; it is flipped for FP percentage. Grozier also leads the conference in goals (18) and goals per game 3.60) but Rudy is close behind at third in goals (15) and fifth in goals per game (3.00).
As a team Colorado leads the league in scoring defense (10.60), scoring margin (+4.20), scoring offense (14.50), shot percentage (0.465) and have had the least amount of turnovers per game (13.60). Individually Grace Donnelly ranks 25th in the nation, first in the Pac-12, in goals-against (10.50) and her save percentage (0.442) is second in the conference. Bayer is averaging 6.60 draw controls per game, which is 16th in the NCAA.
ABOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans are 3-1 entering this weekend after dropping their first game of the season to No. 10 Princeton on March 8, 18-13. Before that, USC had won its first three games against San Diego State (18-7), No. 18 Jacksonville (13-12) and Mercer (15-7). USC is ranked No. 17 in both the IL Women/IWLCA and USA Lacrosse Magazine Polls.
The Trojans are seventh nationally in draw controls per game (17.00). Claudia Shevitz leads the conference and is ninth in the NCAA with 7.75 draw controls per game. USC is sixth as a team in caused turnovers per game (12.75) with three players ranked in the top 35. Olivia Dooley is 16th nationally (2.00) and Kaleigh Brennan and Kelsey Huff are tied for 33rd with 1.75 per game.
Offensively Huff leads the team with 14 points, 13 goals and one assist. Kait Devir has started all four games in goal for the Trojans and has played all but 6:11 minutes. She has allowed 44 goals and has made 30 saves.
THE SERIES: USC leads the all-time series 8-5, but Colorado won two of the three meetings last year. The Trojans took the first meeting in L.A, an 18-12 decision, on March 26. Then seven days later in Boulder, the Buffs recorded a five-goal come-from-behind win to take down the Trojans, 13-11. CU held USC scoreless while making the comeback, scoring the final seven goals of the game. The two met in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals where Colorado held off USC for the 9-8 victory.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils are 1-2 through the first three games. They dropped the first two games on the road against No. 11 Michigan (11-9) and No. 5 Northwestern (16-8) before defeating San Diego State at home (16-6) on Feb. 25.
Emily Glagolev has recorded 10 points to lead ASU, four goals and six assists. Katie Brodsky and Taylor Pinzone are tied for the team-high in goals as both have scored six this season. Zoe Mazur has recorded 10 of ASU's 42 draw controls.
In net, Katie Vahle has earned all three starts. She has allowed 31 goals and has made 26 saves. Her 0.456 save percentage leads the Pac-12 and is 35th in the NCAA.
THE SERIES: CU owns a 5-1 mark in the all-time series against ASU. The Buffs won the first four meetings between the two programs before ASU was able to get its first win against Colorado on March 28, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz.
UP NEXT: Colorado stays on the road for a contest against Oregon in Eugene, Ore.