Senior Darby Kiernan became Colorado’s all-time career points leader on Sunday afternoon as the 19th-ranked Buffaloes cruised past the California Bears, 15-5, at Kittredge Field.
Kiernan entered the game with 216 points after scoring eight on Friday against Stanford. She tied former teammate Johnna Fusco’s record (218) with her second goal of the day, and her third goal put her in the lead. She tallied four more points (three goals and one assist) and currently has 223 points, plus has three straight games with seven or more points.
“I’m just really happy we are winning,” Kiernan said. “It feels really good to win but we have two away games next weekend, so we just have to prepare and focus on those games next.”
Sunday’s game, though, put the Buffs at 2-0 to start Pac-12 Conference play. They are 5-2 overall after winning four straight, while Cal is 4-4 and is 0-2 to start conference play.
“I think that we are feeling pretty good about where we are at,” CU coach Ann Elliott said. “We know that we have to get better; keep getting some more experience and cleaning up a few things. I think that overall we are excited about where we are at.”
That included taking an 11-2 halftime lead on Sunday — thanks to another strong performance by the defense and net-minder Julia Lisella, who made 11 saves on the day—her third staright game with 10 or more saves.
“I think that down there defensively we have been doing a better job as a whole competing and playing together,” Elliott said. “I think that Julia has been making some big saves for us and making the saves that we need her to make.”
Buffs also out-shot Cal 36-19 and also had the advantage in ground balls (22-19) and draw controls (14-8). CU also cleared on 14-of-16 attempts, while Cal only cleared 6-of-14 times.
The Buffs have now won 14 straight games at Kittredge Field, dating back to the 2016 season. In total, CU has won 15 home games in that span, as the Buffs also hosted Oregon on March 19, 2017, in the Indoor Practice facility.
The 15 home wins ties the ninth best home win streak in NCAA history.
Colorado 15, California 5
At Kittredge Field
California (4-4)23—5Colorado (5-2)114—15
Goals — California: Swanson (2), Corzel (1), Garrett (1), Ropp (1); Colorado: Kiernan (6), Nemirov (4), Stinson (4), Castillo (1).
Assists — California: Corzel (1), Swanson (1); Colorado: Kiernan (1), Nemirov (1).
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — California: Wilkens (30:00-11-6), Ward (30:00-4-7); Colorado: Lisella (60:00-5-11).