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The 24th-ranked Colorado lacrosse team opened up Pac-12 Conference play with a 21-5 victory Friday afternoon at Kittredge Field.

“It’s huge for us. It is our first conference game and every conference game is important for us and our goals this season,” head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “So to come out here and to be able to bounce back is really important for this team and hopefully it will give us a little more confidence moving forward.”

The impressive win comes after the Buffs suffered a 20-7 defeat at No. 14 Michigan on Feb. 23. In that contest, only four Buffs recorded a point, but Friday was a different story with 13 different players picking up at least one point. Charlie Rudy and Chloe Willard led CU with seven points apiece. Rudy scored four goals and had three assists, but it was Willard’s day as she tallied a career-high five goals and added two assists.

“We had two weeks off [after Michigan] so we knew we had to practice hard and come out and get a win to get back on our feet,” Rudy said. “We got a lot of momentum in the first half, so we just built off of that. I think everyone is feeling good about this and going into Coastal Carolina. We are feeling pretty good and need to get another win.”

CU had nine players combine for 21 goals, while eight combined for 14 assists. The 14 assists rank second in CU single-game history.

“For us to be successful, we need everyone playing together and doing their roles and helping each other out there,” Whidden said. “I thought today defensively we did a good job of that. We were a lot more active down there on the defensive end which we need to be. Offensively, I thought we did a good job. We had a lot of assists today, a lot of different players contributing and that’s huge for us moving forward. We need that.”

Colorado improves to 2-2 with the win and starts conference play 1-0, while Oregon moves to 1-5 overall (0-1 Pac-12).
Colorado 21, Oregon 5

Oregon 3 2 — 5

Colorado 11 10 — 21

Goals — Oregon: Hilcoff 2, Wallace 1, Stump 1, Lawerence 1; CU: Willard 5, Rudy 4, Lawless 3, Hawkins 2, Schwartz 2, Niseen 2, Grozier 1, Burnside 1, Phillips 1.

Goalies — Oregon: Dunbar 60-10-21; CU: Lisella 60-3-5

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