Buffs Embark on Important Road Trip
BERKELEY, Calif. – The Colorado Buffaloes head off on the road for the final time in the 2022 regular season, opening at No. 25 California on Thursday (1 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks).
Colorado (8-5-4, 2-4-2 Pac-12) kept its postseason hopes alive with a 1-1 draw against No. 15 USC last Sunday. The Buffs open this week with a 54 RPI, up 15 spots from last week. Thursday will be the third of four consecutive games against a ranked opponent for the Buffs.
"Obviously, we fell a little bit of momentum with the result on Sunday against USC," head coach Danny Sanchez noted. "We had to get something out of that match and we did. Like I said after the game, we have everything to play for on Thursday vs Cal. They are a very good team that's done enough already to be an NCAA Tournament team. It's a great opportunity for us to build our resume."
California (9-4-4, 4-3-1 Pac-12) went 1-0-1 last week against the Oregon schools, opening with a 2-0 win over the Beavers. The Golden Bears' top result of the season was a 2-1 win over then No. 21 Washington State on Oct. 6. Cal has been backed by goalkeeper Angelina Anderson and her five shutouts this season. Keely Roy leads the Golden Bears with 20 points (8th Pac-12).
Historically, the Buffs have enjoyed their stays in Berkeley. CU owns a 4-1-2 record on the road against Cal. Last year's meeting at Edwards Stadium resulted in a 2-2 draw. Colorado got out to a 2-0 lead in the first 9 minutes of the match but Cal battled back with two second-half goals. The Buffs haven't taken a loss at Cal since the CU's first year of soccer in 1996.
"Cal is a very good team, but they are always kind of in the same boat as us at this part of the season," Sanchez added. "We're both trying to build our resumes. It's always been an intense match. This seems to be kind of towards the later part of the season, so we expect an NCAA Tournament intensity kind of match on Thursday."
The Buffs sported a new-look lineup against the Trojans on Sunday. Freshman Mallory Allen got her first career start in the midfield and Bella Grust got the nod in net.
"After the UCLA match we had to take a look at all of our options," Sanchez said. "We have a lot of very good players and we've talked about our depth all year. I feel that we put players in, they performed and kept our season alive."
The Buffs will finish off the weekend with No. 7 Stanford on Sunday.