Slow Start Costs Cal In Loss To Colorado
BERKELEY – Colorado (9-3, 4-3 Pac-12) jumped out to a 5-0 lead including its first three goals in less than two-and-a-half minutes on its way to a 17-9 victory over Cal (1-11, 1-6 Pac-12) on Sunday at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears were never able to cut the deficit to fewer than four goals the remainder of the contest.
"You can't start a game like that," head coach Brooke Eubanks said about trailing 6-1 at the end of the first quarter. "It's mentally and physically deflating. Obviously against a very good team they are going to take advantage of that."
Charlie Rudy scored the first two of her three goals within seven seconds when she followed her tally with 12:54 remaining in the first period by winning the ensuing draw control and racing down the field for a second score in a row at 12:47. Chloe Willard picked up another goal just 16 seconds later to make it 3-0. After a goal from Morgan Pence with 8:32 to go and a second score from Willard at the 8:06, the Buffaloes had built a 5-0 lead. Maya Lawliss got the Bears on the board with the first of her three goals with 6:31 remaining in the opening period but after over six minutes of scoreless play Colorado got the final goal period when Rudy assisted Sam McGee on the first of her game-high five goals. The assist was the first of a game-high three for Rudy, who also finished with a game-high six points.
After Sadie Grozier extended Colorado's lead to 7-1 on her first of two goals in the game with 12:54 remaining in the second period, Cal would cut the deficit to four goals on a couple of different occasions by scoring four of the next six goals before halftime. Amanda Morse started the rally with the first of her two goals at 12:18, and after McGee's second tally (11:27, assist Grozier), Lily Berger (9:50) and Lawliss (8:09) scored back-to-back to cut Colorado's advantage to 8-4. Grozier got one goal back for the Buffaloes at the 6:10 mark of the second period before Kalena Johnson matched it with the first goal of her career 1:36 before intermission to make it 9-5 in favor of Colorado at the break.
McGee (12:09) and Pence (10:08) got Colorado's lead back up to six goals by registering the first two tallies of the third period on assists from Rudy and Grozier. The Bears answered with goals by Quinnlyn Mason (9:32, assist Zaccaro) and Lawliss (7:05) to get back within four for the final time at 11-7 before Katie Haley scored the final goal of the third period to make it 12-7 Colorado heading into the game's final 15 minutes.
Colorado added to its lead by scoring the first three goals of the fourth quarter as McGee (13:59, assist Willard), Rudy (12:12) and Haley (9:48) tallied before the teams traded goals the rest of the way with Morse (8:28) and Zaccaro (0:22) scoring for the Bears, while McGee (4:20) and Carley Farella (0:01) found the back of the net for the Buffaloes.
Cal will play its next three games on the road at No. 15 USC (Friday, Apr. 8, 4 pm PDT), Arizona State (Sunday, Apr. 10, Noon MST/PDT) and UC Davis (Saturday, Apr. 16, 1 pm PDT) before concluding its regular season by hosting No. 25 Stanford for its One Love Game and Senior Day (Saturday, Apr. 23, 2 pm PDT, Pac-12 Bay Area). The Pac-12 Championship runs May 4-7 in Tempe.
— Sunday's contest was the Bears United/Pac-12 Inclusion Game dedicated to a commitment to diversity, inclusion and gender equity. A statement was read pre-game to recognize all members of the LGBTQIA+ community to support their freedom of expression; affirm that no one should be discriminated against under any circumstances; celebrate Cal's students, student-athletes, coaches and administrators who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and their supportive allies; envision a world where diversity is celebrated, and all people are accepted, respected and valued regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; and commit to work towards education and understanding to enrich the inclusive environment at Cal and provide a safe space for all
— In addition to the statement, both teams wore Bears United tee-shirts during pre-game warmups and a video produced by Cal student-athlete Fernando Andrade in tribute to Cal's LGBTQIA+ community and on behalf of Cal Lacrosse and Bears United was played at halftime