The Colorado women’s lacrosse team completed the road portion of the regular season in dominant fashion on Sunday, securing a split of a two-game trip through the Bay Area with a thorough 19-9 win at California.
CU improved to 12-2 all-time against the Golden Bears with 12 consecutive victories. It was the Buffs’ second-highest scoring total of the season, falling just one goal shy of the 20 goals CU posted in its first meeting against Cal in a home win on March 19.
The Buffs will return to Berkeley in two weeks for the Pac-12 Conference tournament, but not before completing the regular season at home on Friday against last-place Oregon (4 p.m.). CU (8-7, 6-3 Pac-12) is locked into the third seed for the league tournament regardless of the result against the Ducks in the finale.
CU jumped to a 6-1 lead and never looked back, netting goals by five different players during that opening burst. The Bears closed to within 7-4 at the end of the first quarter and remained within 12-8 at halftime, but CU dominated the second half to pull away.
The Buffs shut out Cal in the third quarter (3-0) before outscoring the hosts 4-1 in the fourth.
Charlie Rudy paced CU’s attack with four goals and a season-high three assists, which also matched her career-high. Rudy has scored at least three goals in 14 of 15 games this season.
Sam McGee, Ashley Stokes, Morgan Pence and Sydney Zimmerman all tallied a pair of goals for the Buffs, with Pence adding two assists. Starting goalie Danielle Heintz finished with five saves.
“I’m proud of the team. I felt like we did a pretty good job today overall. We had a stretch where we struggled competing on the draws and struggled to get stops defensively,” CU head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. “After that, we locked it in a little better. We haven’t played great in the second half the last five games, and today we did much better in all aspects in the second half. We need that as we head into end of our regular season.”
Colorado 19, California 9
CU 7 5 3 4 — 19
Cal 4 4 0 1 — 9
Goals — Colorado: Rudy 4, McGee 2, Stokes 2, Zimmerman 2, Pence 2, Moore, Pisani, Assini, Phillips, Reed, Peluso, McElhaney. Cal: Lawliss 3, Kennedy 2, Wang, Morse, Mason, Lillquist.
Assists — Colorado: Rudy 3, McElhaney 2, Pence 2, Kennedy, McGee, Peluso, Stokes. Cal: Mason.
Goalies (Min.-Goals allowed-saves) — Colorado: Heintz (45-8-5); Donnelly (15-1-1). Cal: Drullinger (23-10-3); Souliotis (37-9-6).