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No. 24 Colorado Closes Out California

Apr 3, 2022

BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 24 Colorado Buffaloes lacrosse team defeated the California Golden Bears 17-9 here at California Memorial Stadium Sunday.

Colorado improved to 9-3 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-12 Conference. California is now 1-12 on the season and 1-6 in league play. 

Fifth-year senior Sam McGee scored a career-high five goals and added six draw controls for the Buffaloes. Senior Charlie Rudy had a season-high six points on the day, notching three goals to go along with a season-best three assists.

"We had a lot of players step up for us and I am proud of them for that," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "This was a win we needed to get, and I am proud of the way our team came out and played."

The Buffaloes raced out to a 5-0 lead with 8:06 left in the first quarter and maintained at least a four-goal advantage throughout the remainder of the contest. Junior Grace Donnelly made nine saves on the day.

"Today we came out strong, committed to the little things we talked about in our scout (session) and found success," Whidden said.

CU fired a season-high 43 shots, landing 28 on net. The Buffs had seven different goal scorers on the day. 

"We need players to continue to step up in their roles as we head down this last stretch," Whidden added.

WHAT HAPPENED: Rudy opened the scoring with two goals in seven seconds as Colorado took a 2-0 lead at the 12:47 mark of the first quarter. The Buffaloes built up a 5-0 lead by the 8:06 mark as senior Chloe Willard scored two goals and sophomore Morgan Pence added another.

After a Bears goal, McGee closed the scoring in the first with 22 seconds remaining as Colorado took a 6-1 lead into the second quarter.

The Bears opened the second frame with a goal from Amanda Morse, but Colorado's Sadie Grozier responded with her 33rd goal of the season to give Colorado a 7-2 lead.

After a Cal goal, McGee answered with her 20th goal of the season to give Colorado an 8-2 lead.

The Bears got two scores to get within four before Grozier scored her second goal of the game to give the Buffs a 9-4 lead. Cal answered with a goal of their own to cut the CU lead to 9-5 at the half.

Colorado got off to a fast start in the second half, getting goals from McGee and Pence to take an 11-5 lead with 10:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Back-to-back goals by the Bears cut the CU lead to 11-7 with 7:05 to play in the third quarter. The Buffs took a time out to regroup and shortly after junior Katie Haley registered her fifth goal of the season to give Colorado a 12-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Buffaloes went on a 3-0 run to start the final frame, increasing the lead 15-7 with 9:47 left in the contest.

Morse picked up her second of the game for Cal, but McGee found the back of an empty net for her fifth of the game to put CU up 16-8 with 4:20 left to play. 

Cal closed with a free-position goal from Nikki Zaccaro with 19 seconds left and junior Carley Farella scored her first career goal before time expired to seal the victory. 

NOTEWORTHY: McGee's five-goal game was a season-high…Rudy's three assists marked the most by a Buff this season…Colorado dominated the draw controls (19-9)…Donnelly made three saves on Cal free position shots. 

UP NEXT: The Buffaloes are on bye this week before returning to Kittredge Field on Friday, Apr. 15, for a match against USC.


  • The Buffaloes are now 3-3 on the road this season.
  • CU is now 10-2 all-time against California.
  • Colorado had four players score two goals in the first half (Grozier, McGee, Rudy, Willard). 
  • Rudy tallied her 23rd career game with three or more goals. She also had her third career multi-assist game.
  • Grozier recorded her sixth career multi-assist game.


Colorado California
Points: 23 Points: 10
Goals: 17 Goals: 9
Assists: 6 Assists: 1
Draw Controls: 19 Draw Controls: 9
Ground Balls: 18 Ground Balls: 14
Saves: 9 Saves: 11