Cal Falls At Colorado, 16-10
BERKELEY – Nikki Zaccaro became Cal's all-time assists leader in the Golden Bears' 16-10 Pac-12 road loss to Colorado at Kittredge Field on Sunday. Zaccaro, who entered the contest one assist shy of former record-holder Colleen O'Mara (83 assists, 2001-04), tied the record with 4:01 remaining in the first period when she fed Liz Scott for Cal's second goal of the contest and then got the record-breaker with 7:59 to go in the second when Quinnlyn Mason gathered in a Zaccaro pass and fired into the back of the net. Zaccaro, who now has 85 career assists, finished with three assists and one goal.
"I'm extremely proud to leave my mark on this program in the record book," Zaccaro said. "I have to thank all of my teammates over the last five years for setting me up and finishing on my feeds. There are so many people who have been at the receiving end, and I'm lucky to have had such great cutters. Assists are always a team effort and many plays that set up a goal are not on the score sheet, so I am grateful for all of these plays that set me up. The most important thing has always been improving and reaching our team's goals, and I am lucky to have helped in any way that I can in my career."
"Nikki is a dynamic player and elevates the play of the offense," head coach Brooke Eubanks added. "She has continued to work hard and develop her field vision, which is key for her as a feeder."
Scott posted her sixth hat trick of the season and third in row with three goals, while Maya Lawliss and Quinnlyn Mason added two each, Amanda Morse had one goal and one assist, and Kennedy Mason scored once.
Colorado's Sadie Grozier had a game-high six goals and added one assist, while Chloe Willard and Sam McGee scored twice each with Willard also recording a team-high two assists. Six other Colorado players – Kasey Braun, Katie Giordano, Katie Haley, Morgan Pence, Liz Phillips and Charlie Rudy had one goal apiece with Rudy adding an assist.
The Buffaloes, who led wire-to-wire, scored the game's first three goals in the opening period with two by Grozier (13:44, 8:59) bookending Rudy's lone goal (13:14). Cal cut the lead to two on each of its first two tallies also in the opening period by Morse (7:24) and Scott (4:01) that sandwiched McGee's first goal on an assist by Willard at 4:55.
Grozier both closed the opening period's scoring and opened the second when she posted her third goal with 1:40 go in the first and her fourth 40 seconds into the second. Colorado eventually scored six consecutive goals to establish a 10-2 lead after Willard (10:58), Haley (10:41, assist Rudy), Grozier (9:53) and Giordano (8:37, assist Willard) added goals. Cal would get the final two goals of the second quarter on back-to-back scores from Quinnlyn (7:59, assist Zaccaro) and Kennedy Mason (6:12).
The Bears also started the scoring in the third quarter when Lawliss connected unassisted with 12:57 remaining in the period but Colorado pushed its lead back to eight at 13-5 by answering with three straight goals from Pence (12:14), Braun (9:52) and Phillips (8:20, assist Grozier).
Cal would score five of the game's next six goals in the third (Lawliss, 5:29; Scott, 3:54, assist Morse; Scott, 1:50, assist Zaccaro) and fourth (Zaccaro, 13:52; Quinnlyn Mason, 10:28) periods to cut Colorado's lead to 14-10 but did not score again after Mason capped the stretch. Willard had Colorado's lone goal during Cal's 5-1 run with 0:31 seconds to go in the third, while McGee (7:14) and Grozier (6:11) had Colorado's final two goals in the fourth.
Alicia Souliotis played the final 33 minutes at goalie for the Bears and had seven of the team's 14 saves while helping to limit the Buffaloes to six goals during her stint. Riley Drullinger (10 GA, 7 saves) played the first 27 minutes of the game between the pipes and was credited with the goalkeeper loss. Grace Donnelly played all 60 minutes in goal for Colorado and was the winner to improve her record to 7-2. Donnelly saved 14 of Cal's 24 shots on goal.
"We fought the whole game," Eubanks said. "Alicia came in for the second half and stepped up with some big interceptions and saves. Our defense made some key stops and we had a solid second half."
Cal (0-11, 0-5 Pac-12) returns to action Friday when the Bears start the second and final round of Pac-12 action by hosting Oregon (3-7, 1-4 Pac-12) on Cal Live Stream-3 with first draw scheduled for 5 pm PDT. Cal will host Colorado (8-2, 3-2 Pac-12) on Sunday with the game being televised by Pac-12 Mountain and first draw at 1 pm PDT.