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Colorado Falls to Oregon in Pac-12 Tournament

May 4, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – Despite four goals from Sadie Grozier, the fourth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes fell in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, 14-10, to the Oregon Ducks on Wednesday.
 
Charlie Rudy scored two goals, her first marking her 150th career point, but the Buffaloes (11-6, 5-5 Pac-12) struggled offensively in the first half.
 
"Our team has been through a lot together," head coach Ann Elliott Whidden remarked. "To end on that note is hard. We really believed in what we could do. We came up short and honestly, we deserved to come up short. We didn't step on the field ready to play."
 
Oregon (4-13, 1-9 Pac-12) was led by Morgan McCarthy's four goals. Goalkeeper Cassidy Eckert stood tall in the Ducks' net, registering 13 saves. Oregon used a 9-0 run to take an 11-2 lead in the second quarter. The victory was Oregon's first against the Buffaloes in fourteen tries (13-1).
 
"We couldn't get stops defensively," Elliott Whidden explained. "Oregon had different players step up. Their midfielders and their attackers were making plays and winning those individual matchups.
 
"Offensively, when we did get the ball, we got some good opportunities and we didn't finish," Elliott Whidden continued. "Their goalie played well."
 
Colorado got within four with 7:08 to play in the fourth quarter, but the Ducks were able to keep CU's offense off the board the remainder of the night.
 
15 Buffs played their final game in the Black and Gold, after leading Colorado through an important five years.
 
"This group is really important to me and our program," Elliott Whidden explained. "Our fifth-year players came in and dealt with the loss of Julia Sarcona. Then they went through Aine [Williams] getting really sick. We grew from that together. Then with COVID and the challenges of the last couple of years, we have had to grow from that.
 
"This team is a close team that cares about each other and plays for each other. Our problem [today] wasn't internal. Our problems were execution and nothing else. This group is going to be missed."
 
WHAT HAPPENED: Oregon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game's first five minutes. The Buffaloes responded with two goals from Morgan Pence and Grozier to tie the game 2-2 with 6:55 left. Neither team could break the tie the rest of the period.
 
That's when the Ducks' offense took control.
 
Oregon found its footing in the second quarter, scoring two quick goals to take a 4-2 lead at the 12:07 mark, prompting a Colorado timeout.
 
Oregon kept its momentum, scoring the next seven goals to take an 11-2 lead. The Buffaloes responded with goals from Rudy and Grozier to cut the deficit to 11-4 at halftime.
 
The Ducks outscored Colorado 2-1 in a low-scoring third quarter, extending their lead to 13-4. Madeline Pisani converted on a free position with 2:51 remaining to get the Buffs' lone tally of the frame.  
The Buffaloes found their offense at the start of the fourth quarter. Grozier and Pisani scored to cut UO's lead to 13-7 at 10:50, forcing Oregon to call a timeout. A goal from Sam McGee got the Buffs to within 13-8 with 8:44 to play.
 
McCarthy scored for the Ducks a minute later to put Oregon back up by six.
 
Grozier and Rudy rounded out the night's scoring, cutting the UO lead to four, 14-10, but the Buffs couldn't get any closer.  
 
NOTABLE:

  • CU is now 3-4 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament.
  • It's the first time CU hasn't advanced to the championship game.
  • Grozier registered her 24th career game with three or more goals.
  • Grozier had her 13th free-position goal of the season in the first quarter.

 
TEAM LEADERS
 

Colorado Oregon
Points: 10 Points: 16
Goals: 10 Goals: 14
Assists: 0 Assists: 2
Draw Controls: 16 Draw Controls: 12
Ground Balls: 20 Ground Balls: 18
Saves: 6 Saves: 13