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CU Buffs’ Julia Lisella named Pac-12 lacrosse defensive player of year

Colorado to face USC in conference tournament

Colorado goalie Julia Lisella and the Buffs' defense will have their hands full with the Florida offense on
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Colorado goalie Julia Lisella and the Buffs’ defense will have their hands full with the Florida offense on

As the Colorado women’s lacrosse team gets ready to make a run at the Pac-12 title, the Buffaloes took home some individual honors on Wednesday.

Senior goalkeeper Julia Lisella was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year and joined three teammates on the All-Pac-12 team.

Lisella, senior attacker Sadie Grozier and graduate student Kate White, a defender, were all named first-team All-Pac-12. Junior attacker Charlie Rudy was named to the second team.

CU will face Southern California in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. MT.

Lisella is the first goalkeeper to win defensive player of the year honors, but she’s the second Buff to take that award in the three years it has been given. Defender Sarah Brown was defensive player of the year in 2018, the Pac-12’s inaugural season.

Lisella has played every minute in goal this season ranking 13th in the country in saves per game (10.31) and 14th in save percentage (49.1%). She leads the Pac-12 in goals-against average, save percentage, saves per game and total saves.

A graduate of Columbine High School in Littleton, Lisella has been named first-team All-Pac-12 twice during her career and second-team once.

Grozier was a second-team all-conference choice in 2019. This year, she is second at CU in goals (30) and assists (12). She has scored at least one point in all 12 games she’s played.

White, a transfer from Dartmouth, has started all 13 games for the Buffs and ranks third on the team in ground balls (24) and first in caused turnovers (15).

Rudy is a first-time choice on the all-conference team. She leads the Buffs and ranks second in the conference with 45 goals. She also leads the Pac-12, and ranks 11th nationally, in shots on goal per game (6.23). Rudy has scored in 18 straight games, dating back to last season.

Stanford’s Ali Baiocco was named attacker of the year, while USC’s Kelsey Huff (midfielder of the year) and Madison Waters (freshman of the year) were also honored. Arizona State’s Tim McCormack was named coach of the year.

CU Buffs women’s lacrosse vs. USC Trojans

GAME TIME: Thursday, 8:30 p.m. MT, Stanford Stadium, Stanford, Calif.

BROADCAST: Pac-12 Networks

RECORDS: Colorado 7-6, USC 9-6

LEADERS: Colorado – Atk Charlie Rudy, Jr. (45 goals, four assists); Atk Sadie Grozier, Sr. (30 goals, 12 assists); Atk Zoe Lawless, Sr. (26 goals, three assists); GK Julia Lisella, Sr. (.491 save percentage, 10.64 goals-against average). USC – Atk Izzy McMahon, Sr. (30 goals, 21 assists); Mid Kelsey Huff, Sr. (35 goals, six assists); Atk Ella Heaney, So. (30 goals, 10 assists); GK Riley Hertford, Sr. (.406 save percentage, 12.21 goals-against average).

NOTES: This is the semifinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament, with CU seeded No. 3 and USC at No. 2. … Top-seeded Stanford will face either Arizona State or California in the other semifinals. ASU and Cal played on Wednesday in the first round. … CU has reached the finals in each of the previous three conference tournaments (Pac-12 in 2019 and 2018, MPSF in 2017). … The Buffs split the season series with USC. They lost at USC, 18-12, on March 26, and defeated the Trojans, 13-11, on April 2. … CU is 4-8 all-time against the Trojans. … The Buffs are at No. 29 in the RPI rankings, while USC is at No. 39. … CU had a four-game win streak snapped on April 29 with 10-7 loss to Denver in non-conference play.

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