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A Colorado soccer flag at Prentup Field. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

CU Soccer honors roll in

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Soccer Earns Postseason Ranking, Herzl Academic Honor

BOULDER – Though the University of Colorado soccer team ended its historic season in November with a run to the NCAA Sweet 16, it continues to receive national attention.

The Buffaloes, who finished the 2013 campaign with a 14-7-2 overall, 4-5-2 Pac-12 Conference record, were one of three Pac-12 teams to earn a spot on the Top Draw Soccer Postseason Top 25. CU rounded out the group at the 25th spot, while two teams the Buffs defeated during the season, BYU and Colorado College, finished in the top 23.  

The Buffs also received votes in the final postseason NSCAA/Continental Tire Women’s Poll. The team received votes in 10 of the final 11 regular season NSCAA polls, including being one vote shy of cracking into the top 25 in the 10th Poll. 

CU soc team

Colorado excelled in the NCAA RPI rankings throughout the season. Their performance and strength of schedule helped them to the 22nd spot in the final rankings. CU was one of four Pac-12 teams in the top 25, and as with the Top Drawer Soccer rankings, CU grabbed two wins over teams in the top 25.

Beyond their success on the pitch, the team also had great success in the classroom. Colorado earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2012-13 academic year for posting a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Lizzy Herzl, a defender from Littleton, Colo., was recently named to the NSCAA Women’s Scholar All-America Third Team. Herzl, who holds a 3.47 GPA, is the first Buff to receive NSCAA Scholar All-America honors and one of seven Pac-12 student-athletes to earn a spot on this year’s first, second or third teams.

In her senior season, Herzl started all 23 games and played a team-high 2,115 minutes (which also ranks ninth-best all-time in a single season at CU). Herzl’s strong defensive presence earned her a spot on the Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team during the non-conference portion of the season and the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Pacific Region and the College Sports Madness All-Pac-12 Second Teams and an All-Pac-12 honorable mention honor in the postseason.

Ten soccer Buffs were named to Pac-12 Conference All-Academics teams.

Hayley Hughes, the senior defender and co-captain from Highlands Ranch, Colo., was selected as first-team Pac-12 All-Academic for the third consecutive year. Hughes, who majors in finance in the CU Leeds School of Business, with a minor in economics and certificate in quantitative finance, holds a 3.93 cumulative GPA. She was also named second-team Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District VII. On the pitch, Hughes was part of the Buffs’ strong backline, and also scored the game-winning goal against Oregon to help the Buffs to their first ever back-to-back Pac-12 home wins.

Nine Buffs were selected as Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention: Carly Bolyard (Jr., speech, language and hearing sciences), Annie Brunner (Sr., management), Lizzy Herzl (Sr., communication), Darcy Jerman (Jr., communication), Bianca Jones (Jr., management and finance), Madison Krauser (So., studio art), Olivia Pappalardo (So., psychology and sociology), Anne Stuller (Sr., philosophy) and Heather Ward (So., sociology).

Seniors Anne Stuller and Annie Brunner truly stood out both on the team and in the national rankings.

Stuller, a forward from Boulder, ranked 57th in the nation with eight assists. She also ranked in the top 100 with 26 points.

In 2013, Stuller set single season records at CU with 93 shots and 53 shots on goal. With 36 shots on goal last season, Stuller is the only Buff to rank in the top six of that category twice. In her senior season, she racked up just three fewer points than she did in her first three seasons combined.

Her assist total ties the CU single season record, while her point total ranks second and her nine goals tie for fifth. She also holds the all-time records for points, assists and shots by a senior at CU, and ties for first in goals by a senior. Stuller concluded the regular season ranking in the Pac-12’s top seven in shots, points, assists and goals. Stuller was an integral part of the Buffs’ run to the NCAA Sweet 16, netting the game-winning goal against No. 15 Denver in the first round, and contributing an assist in the Round of 32 against No. 19 BYU. Stuller was rewarded for her record-breaking season with spots on the All-Pac-12, the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Pacific Region and College Sports Madness All-Pac-12 Second Teams.

Brunner, the 2013 co-captain and a goalkeeper from Arvada, Colo., finished the season ranked in the nation’s top 100 in saves (87) and helped the team to the 82nd best shutout percentage (.409). Brunner had the best season of her four-year career in 2013, posting career-best figures in saves, saves per game (3.78), wins (14) and shutouts (nine) – which all rank in CU’s single season top nine. Her 1.11 goals-against average also ranks 11th. Brunner earned her second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week title when she and the Buffs’ defense held No. 9 California (who at the time had only fallen once) scoreless for over 89 minutes before the squads tied 1-1 through two overtimes.

Brunner and 2003 Big 12 Championship team member Jessica Keller are the only Buffs to have at least nine shutouts in a single season and record at least seven in back-to-back seasons. Brunner is also one of just three CU keepers to record at least 14 wins in a single season. Brunner’s hard work also ranks her second all-time at CU in saves, wins, ties and shutouts. Her GAA and minutes played rank fifth, while her games started and played also rank in CU’s top 15 all-time. With 6,957 minutes spent in the net, Brunner played the fifth most minutes of any active keeper in the nation.

CU seniors weren’t the only ones to earn conference and national attention. From her first collegiate game, freshman forward Brie Hooks, a Maple Valley, Wash. native, had already made a name for herself. In the season opener, Hooks helped the Buffs to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score multiple goals in her CU debut. An important part of the Buffs’ attack throughout the season, her strengths continued to shine in postseason play. In the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, Hooks drew the foul that set up the game-winning goal and helped the Buffs to a 1-0 upset over host No. 15 Denver.

In CU’s freshman offensive record books, Hooks concluded the season ranked third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points. Her 42 shots tie for eighth. Her eight goals also tie for eighth most in a single season at CU. Her four game-winning goals tie for fourth best in a single season at CU and tie for fourth best in regular season conference play.

After the Buffs’ season ended in the Sweet 16, Hooks was called into the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team training camp. Hooks joins the likes of CU greats Amy Barczuk and Nikki Marshall as the only Buffs to get the call to a National Team camp. Hooks was also selected to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team and was Top Drawer Soccer’s 74th ranked freshman in the nation this season.

Fellow freshman Alex Huynh, a defender from Sadleir, New South Wales, Australia, also earned national attention from TDS. The site selected Huynh for the 86th spot on their Freshman Top 100. Huynh was the only CU freshman to start all 23 games, totaling 1,814 minutes. In that time, she contributed three assists, which ranks in the top nine all-time among CU freshmen.

 

 

 

Marlee Horn

Graduate Assistant SID

University of Colorado

CU soccer

CU Frosh soccer phenom gets called to camp

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CARSON, Calif. – University of Colorado freshman phenom Brie Hooks was called into the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team training camp, which is running here from November 24 to December 1 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at the StubHub Center.

“We are excited that Brie has been called into this U-20 camp,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “This opportunity is a byproduct of her play this fall, but also the team’s success. We know that she will represent herself and Colorado soccer well.”

Hooks was invited to the U.S. U-20 post season training camp

Hooks was invited to the U.S. U-20 post season training camp

 

Hooks stood out in her debut season at Colorado. In her first collegiate game, Hooks helped the Buffaloes to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score multiple goals in her Colorado debut. Hooks was an important part of the Buffs’ 1-0 victory over No. 15 Denver in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, drawing the foul that set up the game-winning goal – Hooks and the Buffs ended their season with a trip to the Sweet 16, matching the program best finish first recorded in 2006.

In CU’s freshman offensive record books, Hooks concluded the season ranked third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points. Her 42 shots tie for eighth. Her eight goals also tie for eighth most in a single season at CU. Her four game-winning goals tie for fourth best in a single season at CU and tie for fourth best in Pac-12 Conference regular season play.

The training camp will serve as a bridge camp to an event in Florida in December, which will be the final preparation for the team before the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Women’s U-20 Championship which will run from January 9-19 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands.

The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those games along with the winner of the third-place match earning berths to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Canada. Players born on or after January 1, 1994 are age-eligible for the World Cup.

The USA is in Group A with Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala, while Group B features the host Cayman Islands, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.

The USA opens play on Thursday, Jan. 9 against Costa Rica, faces Jamaica on Saturday, Jan. 11 and finishes the group against Guatemala on Monday, Jan. 13. All three of the USA’s group games kick off at 5:30 p.m. MT. The semifinal matches will take place on Friday, Jan. 17 and the Championship and Third-Place matches are on Jan. 19.

Hooks joins the likes of Amy Barczuk and Nikki Marshall – record-breaking players at Colorado who turned their collegiate and national training camp success into professional careers. Barczuk was selected to the 2011 U.S. Women’s National Team Under-23 Training Camp and was a member of the U-23 player pool.

Marshall appeared in numerous training camps and tournaments as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 player pool from 2009-11. With the U-20 team, Marshall helped the Americans to the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and to the FIFIA U-20 Women’s World Cup Championship in 2008, where she was named the Sierra Mist Woman of the Match in the 2-1 championship win over North Korea.

 

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado
A Colorado soccer flag at Prentup Field. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

Historic Run For CU Soccer Ends In Sweet 16 At No. 3 FSU

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Colorado soccer team’s historic season has come to an end as the Buffaloes fell 4-0 to No. 3 ranked Florida State in Saturday’s Sweet 16 match-up.

The No. 1 seeded Seminoles scored three goals in the first 15 minutes, and the Buffs could never find the footing to respond.

For only the fourth time this season, the Buffs allowed an opponent to take over 20 shots. The Seminoles took 24, while holding the Buffs to a season-low four (marking just the sixth time this year the Buffs have taken fewer than 10 shots in a game). Senior Anne Stuller (who set season records at CU this year with 93 shots and 53 shots on goal) led CU with two shots and one on goal. Senior co-captain Annie Brunner grabbed three saves in the net.

“This whole season has been a dream for me,” Stuller said. “We knew we were coming in today with a big challenge ahead of us and Florida State showed us what a good team they were but I’m not going to hang my head. I have so much to be proud of and how proud I am of my team.”

CU senior soccer player is proud of her team, which finished the best in CU history

CU senior soccer player Anne Stuller is proud of her team, which finished the best in CU history

After beginning the year with a program-best five shutouts and six wins, CU concludes its record-breaking season with a 14-7-2 record – marking just the fifth time in program history the Buffs won at least 14 games in a single season. As it did in 2006 – the Buffs’ only other trip to the Sweet 16 – CU’s season is put to an end by a top three ranked Atlantic Coast Conference opponent (the Buffs fell to No. 1 Notre Dame in ’06).

Florida State keeps alive the nation’s longest active streak of trips to the NCAA quarterfinals, reaching the fourth round for the ninth consecutive year. FSU improves to 21-1-3, with its only loss coming to No. 1 Virginia and extends its home unbeaten streak to 34 games (and to 31 games in NCAA play). The Seminoles are the only remaining seeded team in their quadrant of the bracket. They will face the winner of the Boston College-Illinois (who both took down seeded teams in the Round of 32) match-up next Friday in the Elite Eight.

“I think that Florida State is very good, I’m just going to state the obvious,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We have played a lot of good teams this year but just the way that they came out and the way they possessed and created chances; getting that early goal, I think that we needed to get through that first stretch of the game and that didn’t happen. Then after that we were just chasing the game. I am proud of the team and how they continued to battle. I mean we gave up three goals in the first 14 minutes and it could have gotten ugly.”

The first half belonged to the Seminoles, with FSU outshooting CU 14-2. It took just 36 seconds for the Seminoles to take their first shot, with Carson Pickett knocking the left post. Less than one minute later, FSU had grabbed the lead. At 1:19, Michaela Hahn crossed to the far post to Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who headed one in past the keeper.

Two shots and less than six minutes later, FSU was ready to score again. The Noles extended their lead to 2-0 at 6:59 as Brynjarsdottir took little time to record her fourth multiple goal game of the season. Isabella Schmid found Jamia Fields at the right edge, who crossed to Brynjarsdottir near the net. Her header bounced off the left post, and came into the net off Brunner.

The Buffs continued to struggle to make any moves into FSU territory, taking until the 12th minute to take their first of two first half shots – with Madison Krauser breaking away from the pack to shoot wide right. The Noles’ attack continued to perplex the CU defense, scoring again in the 15th minute to increase their lead to 3-0. Megan Campbell took a free kick from just beyond midfield, sending her strike to the net, where Kristin Grubka headed inside the left post.

In the final 30 minutes, the Buffs regained some focus. In a 22 minute span, the Buffs held the surging Seminoles to four shots with all but one off the mark. During that time, the Buffs were able to pick up some offensive momentum, when Brie Hooks came up with a big tackle just behind the FSU box to help Anne Stuller get free and shoot at the keeper.

FSU came back with a vengeance in the closing minutes of the half, taking three more shots. The Buffs defense held strong, blocking one and forcing the other two wide.  With under minutes remaining before the break, FSU seemed to push their lead to 4-0 off an own goal when a throw-in reached the net, but the Seminoles were called offsides, keeping their lead at 3-0.

To the favor of the Buffs, the second half started off more slowly than the first, with CU getting the first offensive opportunity. In the 50th minute, Stuller rushed from the center, and crossed to Hooks at the right, setting up a corner kick. The ball got in front of the net, and despite lots of FSU players making contact, Hayley Hughes was able to strike the ball (a shot that would go high) as a Seminole defender went down.

The Buffs began to play more aggressively with an increased pressure (especially from Lizzy Herzl, who had several strong clearances) trying to limit the Seminole attack. In the 56th minute, while Brunner was drawn out of the net, Kassey Kallman gave her shot a bit too much heat, hitting the ball high. With more shots starting to come her way, Brunner picked up back-to-back saves.

In the 64th minute, the Buffs had a chance to bounce back, when Tori Cooper drew a foul just outside the penalty box, setting up great positioning for a free kick. Stuller put her striking skills to the test, but hit her ball high. The shot would be the Buffs’ last of the game.

Following a CU yellow card in the 70th minute, FSU was able to grab some momentum. There was lots of movement at the net following the free kick. Hahn got the ball at distance from Kallman and beat the keeper as Brunner tried to jump on the save, but the ball slid just to her right.

The pace would slow in the final 20 minutes, but the Seminoles would still take four more shots and continue to press the Buffs defensively until the final minute.

“I think that Florida State took their foot off the gas a little bit, but they still had their starting back four in there at the end and they were still pressing us,” Sanchez said. “I was pleased though how we played the second half and kept competing and playing with pride. This doesn’t diminish what this team has accomplished this year and where they came from this preseason getting picked 10th in the Pac 12, tied for last place for last year and then having the opportunity to play in the Sweet 16 against a great team like Florida State who will compete for a national championship, so there is no shame in that so I’m proud of this group.”

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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A Colorado soccer flag at Prentup Field. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

CU soccer heads to Sweet 16

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TALAHASSEE, Fla. – In a match-up of wits and athleticism, the University of Colorado came out the victor, defeating No. 19 Brighman Young University 2-1 in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Round of 32 here Thursday.  Behind first-half goals by sophomore Emily Paxton and junior Carly Bolyard, the Buffaloes took down the Cougars to advance the Sweet 16. This is CU’s second trip to the third round of NCAAs – the Buffs advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 to post the program’s best NCAA finish. “I think first and foremost to beat a team of BYU’s quality is a tremendous testament to how we have grown as a program throughout the year,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We have struggled at the end of the season and never lost focus; we have never lost any fight, I’m just real proud on how they just kept working.  As far as the game today, we knew that BYU would bring a lot of pressure and Emily got that early goal which gave us a lot of confidence and then Carly got the second. You know what they say a 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead, which I disagree because if it was 1-0 and would have been tied, but there is always a tendency to relax a little bit and I think that they caught us and made it 2-1 with about 30 minutes to go, but I feel after that we played very well.” CU soc team

Colorado improves to 14-6-2 overall. The Buffs are now 9-0-1 when scoring at least two goals. CU is also 2-3-2 against ranked opponents, picking up back-to-back wins over ranked opponents for the first time since 2010 when the Buffs beat No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Texas A&M in back-to-back games. BYU’s eight game unbeaten streak and season both come to an end. The Cougars gave up two goals for just the fourth time this season (only one other time did that result in a loss). BYU ends its season with a 15-5-1 record.

Though the Cougars edged the Buffs in shots (17 to 11) and shots on goal (seven to five), CU netted the shots that mattered most, and keeper Annie Brunner grabbed six saves. Though the Cougars entered the game holding the nation’s 19th best goals-against average and 29th best shutout percentage, the CU attack was too much for West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Erica Owens.

“We defended like warriors; BYU was putting so much pressure on us near the end of the game and we were just smart going forward,” Sanchez said. “We had a couple of chances to make it a 3-1 game, but I’m just real proud of this team because I don’t think these players understand what this means to the University of Colorado, what it means to the alumni and former players. It’s just big for our players now and whether it’s soccer, basketball or football we are just really pleased to represent a great institution at this level.” BYU seemed primed to make some big moves in the beginning of the game, taking the first four shots. In the sixth minute, after a long Alex Huynh free kick found its way to the front of the Cougar net, CU couldn’t retain possession. BYU rushed back, and Paige Hunt sent a ball wide off a corner kick. While the Cougars were dominating the pace, the CU defense remained solid. In the eighth minute, Marissa Nimmer sent the ball toward the net for an easy save by Brunner. Cloee Colohan continued the offensive pressure, first getting stopped by a big-time block by Lizzy Herzl and then, despite creating some space in front of the net, hitting the ball wide right. The Buffs got their moment in the 15 and 16th minutes, when Darcy Jerman and Anne Stuller both hit their shots just high, helping the squad gain momentum. The Cougars once again got back into Buffalo territory, but this time, it was Niki Fernandes who rushed her shot wide. CU responded with a big attack. In the 21st minute, Anne Stuller sent her corner kick to the near post. The ball got to Emily Paxton, who shot to the far post. The ball deflected off a BYU player to fall into the net and put the Buffs up 1-0. “It was a great build up,” Paxton said. “It was also a great through ball from Madi to earn the corner and it was a near post ball. It felt like the longest two seconds that I’ve had before they came after me and luckily it went in.” The Buffs continued to press, taking two more corner kicks in the 25th and 26th minutes. The first was finger-tipped away by Owens at the net, but the second couldn’t stay in the Buffs’ possession. The Cougars looked to even the score, taking three consecutive shots. First, Nimmer sent a field goal of a kick to the net. Jaiden Thornock matched her pace, rushing in in an attempt to beat several CU defenders. Huynh came in for the tackle and Brunner was ready for the ensuing save. Brunner picked up another save in the 30th minute, after Ella Johnson booted the ball her way. BYU’s attack wouldn’t last for long, as CU extended its lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute. From 18 yards out, Carly Bolyard took a beautiful shot that reached Owens, who wasn’t able to hold onto the ball and could only watch as the ball slid into the net.

Madison Krauser provided the assist from the far post. The goal was Bolyard’s first since she netted a goal and contributed an assist in the Buffs’ 5-0 win over Colorado College in the 2011 Colorado Cup. “It feels amazing, that moment in unforgettable and it’s just nice to finally get one,” Bolyard said of her goal. Stuller and Brooke Rice would both take shots for CU in the final 10 minutes of the half as the Cougars were forced to play defense. Though the game became more physical in the final six minutes, CU’s 2-0 lead would hold at the break. The Buffs picked up right where they left off to start the second half. In the 52nd minute, Mikaela Kraus sent a shot wide. Less than a minute later, Paxton forced Owens to grab her first save of the game. However, the momentum would quickly turn in BYU’s favor. In the 58th minute, Fernandes got one-on-one with Hayley Hughes in the right edge of the box. Fernandes found her opportunity and shot the ball high to the far post. The Cougars continued to push the CU defense and got their scoring opportunity in the 59th minute. Brunner got faked out and fell to the far post as Fernandes snuck in a goal from 10 yards out. Rachel Manning was credited with the assist as the Cougars narrowed the Buffs’ lead to 2-1.

Both hungry to keep their season alive, CU and BYU combined for five shots in an eight minute span, with the Cougars grabbing a three to two edge. Fernandes and Hughes were once again head-to-head, with Fernandes getting the advantage and forcing a save. The Buffs and Cougars battled back and forth for possession and offensive dominance, but it was BYU who would find their stride on the attack. With 20 minutes remaining, Fernandes took her fourth consecutive shot, getting blocked to set up a corner, where Manning would head the ball wide.

CU was able to respond, with Paxton continuing her strength in front of the net, taking a shot from the right edge to force another save. In the 77th minute, Jerman took the Buffs’ final shot of the game, hitting the ball wide past the far post. In the closing minutes, BYU sent everyone forward, causing a close call in the 83rd minute. Following a corner kick, a group of Cougars fought to even the score. First, Johnson used her head to force a save. Then, Colohan got the ball, knocking one into the crossbar. Hughes and Fernandes met one final time, with Brunner meeting her blocked shot to close out the game. The Buffs will face the winner of the Mississippi/Florida State matchup. Kick-off of the Sweet 16 game is at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MT) on Saturday, Nov. 23. at Florida State Soccer Stadium. “It’s just awesome, I told (coach) that he can’t get rid of us yet,” Hughes said. “I think as seniors we just want to keep going because we aren’t ready to be done. I think that it’s just awesome and it means a lot to us and there are also a lot of people that are following us. I have teachers and just old teammates that are just so invested in this and it just means a lot to us and this is a great experience and we just want to keep going.”

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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CU soccer moves to Sweet 16, defeating BYU

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TALAHASSEE, Fla. – In a match-up of wits and athleticism, the University of Colorado came out the victor, defeating No. 19 Brighman Young University 2-1 in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Round of 32 here Thursday. 
Behind first-half goals by sophomore Emily Paxton and junior Carly Bolyard, the Buffaloes took down the Cougars to advance the Sweet 16. This is CU’s second trip to the third round of NCAAs – the Buffs advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 to post the program’s best NCAA finish.

“I think first and foremost to beat a team of BYU’s quality is a tremendous testament to how we have grown as a program throughout the year,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We have struggled at the end of the season and never lost focus; we have never lost any fight, I’m just real proud on how they just kept working.  As far as the game today, we knew that BYU would bring a lot of pressure and Emily got that early goal which gave us a lot of confidence and then Carly got the second. You know what they say a 2-0 lead is the most dangerous lead, which I disagree because if it was 1-0 and would have been tied, but there is always a tendency to relax a little bit and I think that they caught us and made it 2-1 with about 30 minutes to go, but I feel after that we played very well.”

CU soc team

Colorado improves to 14-6-2 overall. The Buffs are now 9-0-1 when scoring at least two goals. CU is also 2-3-2 against ranked opponents, picking up back-to-back wins over ranked opponents for the first time since 2010 when the Buffs beat No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Texas A&M in back-to-back games.

BYU’s eight game unbeaten streak and season both come to an end. The Cougars gave up two goals for just the fourth time this season (only one other time did that result in a loss). BYU ends its season with a 15-5-1 record.

Though the Cougars edged the Buffs in shots (17 to 11) and shots on goal (seven to five), CU netted the shots that mattered most, and keeper Annie Brunner grabbed six saves. Though the Cougars entered the game holding the nation’s 19th best goals-against average and 29th best shutout percentage, the CU attack was too much for West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Erica Owens.

“We defended like warriors; BYU was putting so much pressure on us near the end of the game and we were just smart going forward,” Sanchez said. “We had a couple of chances to make it a 3-1 game, but I’m just real proud of this team because I don’t think these players understand what this means to the University of Colorado, what it means to the alumni and former players. It’s just big for our players now and whether it’s soccer, basketball or football we are just really pleased to represent a great institution at this level.”

BYU seemed primed to make some big moves in the beginning of the game, taking the first four shots. In the sixth minute, after a long Alex Huynh free kick found its way to the front of the Cougar net, CU couldn’t retain possession. BYU rushed back, and Paige Hunt sent a ball wide off a corner kick.

While the Cougars were dominating the pace, the CU defense remained solid. In the eighth minute, Marissa Nimmer sent the ball toward the net for an easy save by Brunner. Cloee Colohan continued the offensive pressure, first getting stopped by a big-time block by Lizzy Herzl and then, despite creating some space in front of the net, hitting the ball wide right.

The Buffs got their moment in the 15 and 16th minutes, when Darcy Jerman and Anne Stuller both hit their shots just high, helping the squad gain momentum. The Cougars once again got back into Buffalo territory, but this time, it was Niki Fernandes who rushed her shot wide.

CU responded with a big attack. In the 21st minute, Anne Stuller sent her corner kick to the near post. The ball got to Emily Paxton, who shot to the far post. The ball deflected off a BYU player to fall into the net and put the Buffs up 1-0.

“It was a great build up,” Paxton said. “It was also a great through ball from Madi to earn the corner and it was a near post ball. It felt like the longest two seconds that I’ve had before they came after me and luckily it went in.”

The Buffs continued to press, taking two more corner kicks in the 25th and 26th minutes. The first was finger-tipped away by Owens at the net, but the second couldn’t stay in the Buffs’ possession.

The Cougars looked to even the score, taking three consecutive shots. First, Nimmer sent a field goal of a kick to the net. Jaiden Thornock matched her pace, rushing in in an attempt to beat several CU defenders. Huynh came in for the tackle and Brunner was ready for the ensuing save. Brunner picked up another save in the 30th minute, after Ella Johnson booted the ball her way.

BYU’s attack wouldn’t last for long, as CU extended its lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute. From 18 yards out, Carly Bolyard took a beautiful shot that reached Owens, who wasn’t able to hold onto the ball and could only watch as the ball slid into the net. Madison Krauser provided the assist from the far post.

The goal was Bolyard’s first since she netted a goal and contributed an assist in the Buffs’ 5-0 win over Colorado College in the 2011 Colorado Cup. “It feels amazing, that moment in unforgettable and it’s just nice to finally get one,” Bolyard said of her goal.

Stuller and Brooke Rice would both take shots for CU in the final 10 minutes of the half as the Cougars were forced to play defense. Though the game became more physical in the final six minutes, CU’s 2-0 lead would hold at the break.

The Buffs picked up right where they left off to start the second half. In the 52nd minute, Mikaela Kraus sent a shot wide. Less than a minute later, Paxton forced Owens to grab her first save of the game. However, the momentum would quickly turn in BYU’s favor. In the 58th minute, Fernandes got one-on-one with Hayley Hughes in the right edge of the box. Fernandes found her opportunity and shot the ball high to the far post.

The Cougars continued to push the CU defense and got their scoring opportunity in the 59th minute. Brunner got faked out and fell to the far post as Fernandes snuck in a goal from 10 yards out. Rachel Manning was credited with the assist as the Cougars narrowed the Buffs’ lead to 2-1.

Both hungry to keep their season alive, CU and BYU combined for five shots in an eight minute span, with the Cougars grabbing a three to two edge. Fernandes and Hughes were once again head-to-head, with Fernandes getting the advantage and forcing a save. The Buffs and Cougars battled back and forth for possession and offensive dominance, but it was BYU who would find their stride on the attack. With 20 minutes remaining, Fernandes took her fourth consecutive shot, getting blocked to set up a corner, where Manning would head the ball wide.

CU was able to respond, with Paxton continuing her strength in front of the net, taking a shot from the right edge to force another save. In the 77th minute, Jerman took the Buffs’ final shot of the game, hitting the ball wide past the far post.

In the closing minutes, BYU sent everyone forward, causing a close call in the 83rd minute. Following a corner kick, a group of Cougars fought to even the score. First, Johnson used her head to force a save. Then, Colohan got the ball, knocking one into the crossbar. Hughes and Fernandes met one final time, with Brunner meeting her blocked shot to close out the game.

The Buffs will face the winner of the Mississippi/Florida State matchup. Kick-off of the Sweet 16 game is at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MT) on Saturday, Nov. 23. at Florida State Soccer Stadium.

“It’s just awesome, I told (coach) that he can’t get rid of us yet,” Hughes said. “I think as seniors we just want to keep going because we aren’t ready to be done. I think that it’s just awesome and it means a lot to us and there are also a lot of people that are following us. I have teachers and just old teammates that are just so invested in this and it just means a lot to us and this is a great experience and we just want to keep going.”

 

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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CU soccer: Finally—a win over DU

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CU Soccer Upsets No. 15 Denver In NCAA First Round

DENVER – The University of Colorado soccer team finally tasted victory over No. 15 and fourth-seeded Denver when it was most important – in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.

With less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, senior standout Anne Stuller netted the game-winner to give the Buffs’ the 1-0 victory.

In Stuller and her fellow seniors’ time at CU, the Buffs had never gotten a win over their in-state rival Denver. That changed Saturday in front of a crowd of 1,394 at Denver’s CIBER Field. In just their third win in Denver, the Buffs reclaim the slight series edge over the Pioneers, 9-8-1. The Buffs are now a perfect 2-0 against the Pioneers in NCAA play.

The Buffs got further revenge on the Pioneers after DU claimed a 3-0 win at CIBER Field earlier in the season to put an end to the Buffs’ recording-setting start of six wins to begin the 2013 campaign.

After remaining winless in their final four games of the season, the Buffs improve to 13-6-2 overall (after finishing tied for sixth in the Pac-12 Conference with a league mark of 4-5-2). CU advances to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2007 (when the Buffs fell to No. 3 Portland in the second round of tournament play). The win was the Buffs’ first over a ranked opponent since 2010, when the squad took down No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Texas A&M in back-to-back games.

Denver suffers just its second loss of the season, falling to 18-2-1 as its impressive season is put to an end.

“First, I want to congratulate Denver on a great season,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “They’re worthy of the four seed they got. They had a great season pre-conference and during the conference. As far as the match today, like I told the team, we’re really proud of what this team has accomplished. Last year they finished tied for last place in the Pac-12. They’ve really bought in and done everything we’ve asked them. We’re really proud, especially of our four senior starters, but really everybody. We’re really pleased that we’re able to represent the University of Colorado on this stage.

“Today’s match could have gone either way. I felt both teams played very well. Big moments take special players, and Anne Stuller’s a special player. She came up and made the play when we needed it. Brunner and Lizzy (Herzl) and Hayley (Hughes) and Bianca (Jones) and Alex (Huynh) were rock solid in the back against Kristin Hamilton and Nicholette DiGiacomo and all their dynamic attacking players. We’re just real, real happy to have the opportunity to move on to Florida next week.”

The Buffs just edged the Pioneers in nearly every category. CU outshot DU 15 to 13 (with six on goal to DU’s three). CU also took three more corner kicks (seven to four), helping set up more shooting opportunities at the net. The Buffs’ backline held DU’s two leading scorers and record-breaking seniors Kristen Hamilton and Nicholette DiaGiacomo (who helped Denver become one of just 16 Division I teams with multiple double-digit scorers) to just three shots combined, with none on goal.

Stuller and fellow seniors carried the weight

Stuller and fellow seniors carried the weight

In the 84th minute, Brie Hooks was fouled just outside the left corner of the box, setting up the free kick that would give the Buffs the game. Stuller, who’s become known for her killer strike, bent her shot over the wall of defenders, getting the ball to deflect and reach the far post.

“That was all Brie,” Stuller said of the free kick setup that led to the goal. “She’d been putting the defense on their toes all night. She’s so dangerous out of the midfield; she’s really dangerous anywhere. She just came up and attacked the defenders and created a foul. Hats off to her – that was big time by her.”

Stuller, who says her team has been a “treat to play with” and fights every game, continues to shine in her senior season. She adds to her CU single season records with 89 shots and 52 shots on goal. Stuller also ties Katie Griffin for second most points in single season at CU, with 25.

In what has been her best season to date, goalkeeper and co-captain Annie Brunner grabbed three saves and posted her ninth clean sheet of the season, her career-best. She and 2003 Big 12 Championship team member Jessica Keller are the only two Buffs to have at least nine shutouts in a single season. Brunner is now the second-winningest keeper in program history with 32 in her career. Brunner has contributed to 24 shutouts in her career, and in 2013 has posted career-best season totals of 78 saves, a 3.71 save percentage and 0.98 goals-against average.

“I knew it was going to come down to a one-goal game,” Brunner said. “Going into the game, I was just on extreme focus like, ‘Hey I’m going to make one big save this game, maybe two, and we’re going to get one and that’s how we’ll win the game.’ Sure enough, DU started putting a lot of pressure on us in the back and that’s just when you’ve got to step up. Our defense did great blocking shots, and I just had to save a couple of them and that’s how you win.”

In the opening minutes of the game, the Buffs worked to press the net, getting two corner kicks, though the Denver defense prevented them from any looks at the net.

Denver took the first shot of the game in the fourth minute. A wide Nikki Pappalardo found Francesca Garzelloni at the front of the net, but Hayley Hughes forced the ball wide. Hughes was at it again, this time on offense, finding her shot blocked in the 10th minute. The Pioneers continued to make moves in the opening 15 minutes, with DiGiacomo finding an open look in front of the net, but blasting the ball out of the park.

After focusing on defense, the Buffs finally got back into Pioneer territory, with Hooks responding to DiGiacomo, but rushing her shot wide. The Buffs had one of their best opportunities of the half in the 18th minute. From deep left, Hooks found Emily Paxton at the right. Paxton sent a through ball to Stuller at the right post. Stuller aimed her shot at the net, forcing DU keeper Cassidy Rey to dive for the ball at the far post. Though the ball remained in play, a DU defender came into the net to clear the ball.

In the 25th minute, the Pioneers got another opportunity when Pappalardo beat her defender to get the ball in front of the net. After a few touches, Garzelloni hit just over the crossbar.

The Buffs dominated offensively in the final 15 minutes before the break. In the 34th minute, Hooks found her target and made Rey claim her second save. Following a hard foul on Madison Krauser, the Buffs got a free kick off from about 40 yards deep off a late call. Though DU initially got the ball, CU recovered, and Stuller got blocked at the net. CU would take another shot and corner in the final six minutes, but were unable to get a shot past the DU defense.

In the final two minutes before the break, the teams traded free kicks from midfield. DiGiacomo got another shot off for the Pioneers, but the game would remain scoreless at the half. (The Buffs are now 7-5-1 this season when entering halftime in a scoreless tie).

Stuller once again began the half with tough offensive pressure, forcing a corner kick that got to Paxton, whose shot went wide. Though Denver spent a lot of time in CU territory, they were only able to get one shot off and take one corner in the first 10 minutes, though their shot was a big one. In the 51st minute, a CU turnover in front of the DU net nearly cost them a goal. With lots of action and players going down in the box, Brunner grabbed a great save of a Garzelloni shot. The Buffs had several other strong defensive plays, with Bianca Jones helping the Buffs get a goal kick following a DU corner.

CU then went on a shooting spree, taking five shots and three corners in less than 12 minutes, while holding DU to playing defense. The Buffs played together in the 58th minute, with Jerman getting a good read to set up a play that would find Krauser at the left edge. Krasuer rushed in and shot, getting the ball to the center of the net, where Rey grabbed the save. Krauser was at it again just two minutes later, hitting the ball wide this time.

In the 64th minute, Jerman and Brooke Rice worked together to get Jerman in front of the net. She took a close range shot that was saved by Rey’s finger tips. The Buffs then got a corner, and Lizzy Herzl’s header got blocked. The Buffs kept up the pressure, with Jerman this time getting blocked. The Buffs got two more corner kicks, but Denver was finally ready to get on the attack.

It wasn’t until the 72nd minute when DU’s Hamilton was able to take her first (and only) shot. She got an open look from close range, but Brunner was ready as the shot went high. Denver was able to attack again at 75:01, with Pappalardo forcing a save from close range. The Pioneers continued to make the Buffs’ defense work, forcing another great save from Brunner in the 79th minute.

Then, the momentum began to turn the other way, as Denver got back to back fouls that would help spur the Buffs’ scoring drive. In the 81st minute, Alex Huynh took a free kick that was an easy grab for Rey. DU would reclaim possession and get a free kick from 25 yards out, but the Buffs’ came up with big back-to-back blocks.

CU would then rush from one side to the other, with Hooks, who was forcing a lot of aggressive plays out of the DU defense, going down just outside the left corner of the box. Stuller would put her golden boot to use to shoot over the wall and score off a deflection to give the Buffs the 1-0 lead.

“If I strike the ball cleanly and if I get it over the wall, there’s a good chance it’s going to get a rebound or go in,” Stuller said. “That was my focus – just getting over the wall, but not getting over the net. That’s what I try to do when I hit the ball.”

Denver would send everyone forward in the final six minutes, taking three more shots and two corners, but the Buffs would hold strong in the closing minutes to claim the win.

CU joins UCLA and Stanford as the only Pac-12 teams to advance to the Round of 32. With the win over Denver, and a loss by Colorado College on Saturday, CU is also the only in-state team to advance. CU will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on BYU (15-4-1), who defeated Weber State 4-0 in their first round, on Friday, Nov. 22. Though the teams have never met on neutral ground, BYU holds a 3-0-1 lead over CU.

“They’re very good,” Sanchez said. “They’re co-champions in the West Coast Conference, which is one of the top leagues. Obviously I’m familiar with them from back in the Mountain West days. They’re very athletic. They’re very direct. They’re very good. They were probably border line to get a seed as well this year. We know the challenge of that. We’ve actually watched a little bit of them hoping that we’d have the opportunity to advance and face them. We know they’re a great team with a great coach – Jennifer Rockwood’s been there since the start of the program. They’re a perennial tournament team, and we’ll have our hands full, but we’ll start worrying about them tomorrow at practice.”

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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Stuller, Herzl and Hooks named to All Pac 12 soccer teams

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Seniors Anne Stuller and Lizzy Herzl were named second-team and honorable mention, respectively, while newcomer Brie Hooks was selected to the Freshman Team. This is the first all-conference honor for each.

Stuller and Herzl were also recently honored as College Sports Madness All-Pac-12 Conference Second Team selections.

Stuller, a forward from Boulder, has had her best season with the Buffaloes in what has already been an impressive four-year career. In her final season, Stuller has set single season records for shots (86) and shots on goal (50). With 36 shots on goal last season, Stuller is the only Buff to rank in the top six of that category twice. With 23 points, off eight goals and seven assists, this season, she is just six shy of her total from her first three seasons combined. Her points and goal totals as a senior also rank in the top three on the CU single season list. She holds the all-time top spot for points, assists and shots by a senior at CU and is tied for second in goals by a senior. Stuller ended the regular season ranking in the Pac-12’s top seven in shots, points, assists and goals.

Anne Stuller was named All-Conference

Anne Stuller was named All-Conference

 

Brie Hooks named to All Freshman team

Brie Hooks named to All Freshman team

Herzl, a defender from Littleton, Colo., has also had an impressive senior season, starting all 20 games and playing a team-high 1,845 minutes. As part of the Buffs’ strong defense, she has helped the squad to its second consecutive eight shutout season, including a record-breaking five to start the 2013 campaign. Herzl earned a spot on the Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team earlier this season when she helped the Buffs to a 4-0 win over Stony Brook and a 3-1 victory over UNLV. Herzl has also taken 10 shots this season, with five on target.

Hooks, a forward from Maple Valley, Wash., has been a standout player in her debut season at Colorado. Hooks has made her mark since the first minute she stepped on the pitch in a Buffs’ jersey. In her first collegiate game, Hooks helped the Buffs to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score two goals in her Colorado debut. In CU’s freshman offensive record books, she ranks third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points. Her 38 shots ties for 10th. Her eight goals also tie for eighth most in a single season at CU. Her four game-winning goals tie for fourth best in a single season at CU and also ties for fourth best in the conference. Her goal and point totals also rank in the conference’s regular season top 10.

Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, five soccer Buffs have been named to All-Pac-12 teams. Amy Barczuk (2009-12) earned back-to-back honors from the Pac-12, first as an honorable mention her junior season, then as a second-team selection as a senior. Last season, Madison Krauser was named to the Freshman Team. This is the first year since 2010 (when the Buffs were a member of the Big 12) that at least three Buffs have received all-conference honors.

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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CU soccer socks it to USC ladies of Troy

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BOULDER – In a hard-fought, aggressive game, the University of Colorado soccer team took down the Southern California Women of Troy 2-1 in this season’s penultimate game at Prentup Field.

In a game that saw 34 total fouls and five yellow cards, the Buffaloes came out the victor behind goals by two freshmen. Brie Hooks proved that sitting out for four games due to an injury wouldn’t slow her down. In the 66th minute, she netted her eighth goal of the season to give the Buffs a 1-0 lead. Hooks was at it again in the 72nd, assisting classmate Alyssa Herwatt to her first goal as a Buff.

 

“It was definitely tough not being able to play for a while, and just watching the games was kind of hard,” Hooks said. “But, then coming back in I was a little bit nervous just because it’s a knee injury and those are a little bit sketchy. Definitely as the game went on I started to get my confidence back, especially with that goal, it really helps to get my feet back on the field, so it was a good way to come back.”

With less than three minutes remaining in regulation, the Trojans found the back of the net, with Marlee Carrillo heading on in off her goalkeeper Caroline Stanley’s free kick, but it wouldn’t be enough to push the game to extra minutes.

“I think the first half was sluggish,” said CU head coach Danny Sanchez, who earned his 20th win with the Buffs on Friday. “I don’t think we were sharp in the attack, but we defended fine. I thought in the second half as the game started to get stretched, we created more opportunities. We’re happy with the win. USC – don’t be fooled by their record – is a very good team, but we know we have big challenges coming our way. We need to be sharper and play better.”

The win marks the first time the Buffs have gotten two wins over a single Pac-12 Conference opponent (the Buffs beat the Trojans 1-0 in double overtime in Los Angeles last season). The victory improved the Buffs’ record to 12-3-1 overall, 4-2-1 Pac-12. The Buffs have recorded 12 wins for the first time since 2008 and four conference victories for the first time since 2010 (when CU was a member of the Big 12). Goalkeeper Annie Brunner has now recorded 31 victories in the net for the Buffs, making her the second-most winningest keeper in program history.

USC falls to 6-8-2 overall, 1-5-1 Pac-12. The Trojans are looking to return to their unbeaten streak ways that saw them tying then-No. 8 California and defeating then-No. 5 Stanford.

The game began with a defensive battle. In the ninth minute, Katie Johnson, who tied for a team-high two shots and one on goal, got the Trojan offense going. She rushed the net and sent her shot at Brunner, who picked up her first and only save of the game.

Anne Stuller led the Buffs with six shots and four on goal. She dominated the offense in the opening 21 minutes. In the 12th minute, she edged up the left side and took a quick shot that hit the post. Two minutes later, she was in a similar spot, with Olivia Pappalardo close behind, sliding one at USC’s Stanley. The Buffs remained tight on offense, but a strong Trojan pressure made it hard for the Buffs to get a good look at the net.

In the 21st minute, the Buffs had their best opportunity of the half. Stuller once again approached the net from the left, causing Stanley to dive for another save. While the keeper was still down, Pappalardo swooped in but was unable to get her shot past Stanley. Despite some contact in the box, the Buffs were forced to get back on defense.

USC was finally able to respond in the 27th minute with Johnson hitting the ball wide this time. Multiple fouls on the Trojans helped the Buffs make the Trojans play from behind, despite the game remaining scoreless. Following two more shots by the Buffs, the Trojans were able to get their best look in the closing minutes of the half, with Tanya Smarzich beating Hayley Hughes in the backfield, but hitting the right post to close out the second half.

The game only got more physical in the second half. In the first minutes, USC made the Buffs’ defense work for stops. The Women of Troy got a corner kick in the 47th minute, and capitalized with back-to-back shots, though the first was blocked and the second went wide.

In the same span that the Buffs took two shots, the first a Pappalardo header that forced a save and the second a Stuller free kick that blasted just high, the Trojans got called for five fouls and received their first of four yellow cards. Despite their foul trouble, USC was able to answer with three consecutive corner kicks, though none would help them to a shot at the goal.

The Buffs were able to grab the upper-hand in the 66th minute. A free kick by Alex Huynh found Hooks near the net. From 10 yards out, she beat the keeper down low and shot to the far corner to give the Buffs the 1-0 lead.

“(Coach Sanchez) was definitely holding me off, and then I came in and he just wanted me to go in there with all the effort I had and help us get a good start to the second half,” Hooks said. “So, when I went in there all I was thinking about as the ball was coming over was just, ‘I need to finish this, and get the half going so we can hopefully get more goals after that.’”

USC was able to get a shot of its own in the 70th minute, with Carrillo hitting one wide, but the Trojans couldn’t control the ball for long. In the 72nd minute, the Buffs were hungry for more. Hooks connected with Herwatt, who from 25 yards out chipped the ball to the net. The ball bounced off the cross bar and fell in to give the Buffs’ a solid 2-0 lead.

“I was definitely scared I was offsides at first, that’s why I kind of hesitated, but I was just like, ‘why not take it,’” Herwatt said. “I’ve had a couple of opportunities throughout this season that haven’t gone in, so I was really excited this one finally got in. It felt great to have my first goal.”

With a goal and an assist in the game, Hooks continues to shine in the freshman offensive record books. She ranks third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points.

Following their goal, the Buffs were only able to get one more shot off, with Stuller hitting one at the keeper. USC managed just two shots in the final 20 minutes, but their last helped tighten the score. At 87:06, Carrillo netted her third of the season, heading the ball in off a free kick from her keeper.

“They’re a good team, (USC’s Marlee Carillo) had scored a couple goals late against Arizona as well,” Sanchez said. “So, it was a great ball and I don’t think there was anything cheap about it, we had numbers we just didn’t get it, but that’s why we had a two-goal lead. It made the last couple minutes a little antsy for us, but I was happy how we killed off the game after that.”

USC continued to press in the closing minutes, grabbing another yellow card. Though the Trojans continued to fight, the Buffs’ 2-1 lead was too much to overcome.

Next up for the Buffs is No. 2 UCLA. Stuller says playing in her final game at Prentup Field will be “surreal,” but she wants to leave the field on a good note.

“They’re a good team, definitely a favorite in the College Cup this year,” Stuller said. “But, I think the way we’ve been playing we can definitely hang with them and we’re going to try to get a win, we’re not going for anything less.”

Come out to Prentup to celebrate Senior Day on Sunday, Oct. 27 at noon with your CU soccer team. Make sure to stand in the Buff Brigade cheering section and cheer the Buffs to victory as they take on No. 2 UCLA in the last home game of the season!

 

 

 

Marlee Horn

Graduate Assistant SID

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A Colorado soccer flag at Prentup Field. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

CU soccer team needs overtime to beat U of Washington

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SEATTLE – After a slow start at the Husky Soccer Complex, senior Anne Stuller gave the University of Colorado soccer team the upper-hand over Washington, netting the game-winner in the sixth minute of overtime.

The Pac-12 Conference leader in shots and corner kicks, the Buffs have had to fight against tough defensive pressure in their first true road trip of the season. Though they entered the game averaging 9.31 first half shots, the Huskies limited the Buffs to just one shot in the opening 45 minutes, marking just the fourth time this season the Buffs have taken fewer than five shots in the first half.

Anne Stuller reacts after scoring a goal in overtime to beat Washington

Anne Stuller reacts after scoring a goal in overtime to beat Washington

“Washington is great defensively and they have a very good goalkeeper,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “There just wasn’t a lot of chances to be had either way for us. I felt that defensively, we were really tight and we limited their opportunities. We knew that there wouldn’t be a lot of chances to be had, but fortunately for us, the one good chance we had, we took care of.”

With their first road victory of the season, Colorado improves to 11-3 overall, 3-2 Pac-12. The Buffs are now a perfect 2-0 in overtime matches in 2013. Despite taking only one shot in the first half, CU outshot UW 15-11, including a six to two differential on goal. Continuing to shine in the net, Annie Brunner has become just the third CU keeper to record at least 11 wins in a single season. The shutout was Brunner’s eighth of the season, topping her 2012 total of 7.1.

Previously undefeated in Pac-12 play, with wins over USC and Utah and a double-overtime tie against then No. 3 UCLA, Washington slips to 6-6-2, 2-1-2 Pac-12. Redshirt junior Kate Bennett led the Huskies with five shots, taking both of the team’s shots on goal.

“It was a hard fought Pac-12 match,” Sanchez said. “Washington’s on a great roll. They’re tough to score on. They hadn’t given up a goal in Pac-12 play, so we knew it’d take something special. Anne Stuller did something special to win it for us.”

The Buffs got an opportunity in the opening 15 minutes when Madison Krauser, who led the Buffs with six shots, got the ball deep in Washington territory. From the 18 yard line, defensive pressure forced her to make a move, but she couldn’t get enough power on the kick to take a shot. Washington was quick to respond, causing commotion near the Buffs’ net, but CU finally got a good clearance to send the ball back in the other direction.

It wasn’t until the 27th minute that the Huskies were able to take the first shot of the game. A cross found Bennett at the net, but her shot was blocked, and Brunner came out to meet it. Less than four minutes later, UW was back on the attack, but this time Bennett sent the ball wide from close range. The Huskies continued to press the net. Brooke Rice looked strong on the defensive side of the ball, blocking any looks at the net. Though UW got a corner kick, the shot went long and helped the Buffs take over on the offense.

CU got its best chance of the half in the 36th minute. From the middle of the box, Darcy Jerman crossed left to Krauser, who was stopped by her defender, setting up a corner kick. Alex Huynh got her head on the ball, but the Buffs’ sole shot of the half was blocked. The Buffs retained possession, but a CU foul finally allowed UW to get the ball.

In the final five minutes, Washington caused several close calls for the Buffs. Getting the ball from the right corner of the box, Jaclyn Softli got within 12 yards, but her header was blocked by a CU defender. Though the Buffs got back deep into UW territory, a final throw in got away from them, allowing the Huskies to rush to the Buffs’ net. Brunner came out of the net in anticipation, leaving an empty net for Softli. Softli slammed the ball just left of the post, keeping the game scoreless at the break.

After taking just one shot in the first 45 minutes, the Buffs opened the second half on an offensive stride, with Krauser taking two shots in the first nine minutes. The Buffs continued to press the net and dictate the tempo, getting another opportunity off back-to-back shots by Krauser and Stuller.

Washington couldn’t regroup on the offense until the 69th minute, with Bennett shooting at the keeper. Bennett was on it again at 70:20, this time getting blocked. Following a corner kick, the Huskies sent another shot wide. Unwilling to remain in a defensive fight, the Buffs attacked the UW net. Tori Cooper got to the net and shot from close range, striking at Megan Kufeld, who had come out of the net.

The Huskies responded with a great chance of their own in the 77th minute. Lindsay Elston got to the net, but Brunner punched the ball away, and the Huskies were unable to convert on the following corner kick.

The Buffs continued to dominate in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Bianca Jones sent a deep ball to the net, where several Buffs got touches, even forcing Kufeld out of the net for a moment, but couldn’t find a shot. Following a corner kick, Krauser took the ball behind the box, forcing a shot that got blocked. She found the rebound and hit the ball just high.

Though the Huskies would get another chance, forcing Brunner to grab another save, it was the Buffs who continued to shine offensively in the closing minutes, with Stuller and Jerman each taking two shots in the final five minutes of regulation.

CU didn’t slow down in just their second overtime match of the season, quickly taking over on the offense. In the first minute, Krauser got an open look, but her shot went just over the crossbar. The Huskies were able to respond with a shot of their own in the 95th minute, but their attack wouldn’t last long.

A Washington foul just outside the box helped set up the Buffs’ game-winner. From 22 yards out, Stuller booted a free kick to the near post to give the Buffs the 1-0 victory.

“She was from a bit of a wide angle, and she just had a great strike,” Sanchez said. “… We were starting to pressure and get the ball into deeper spots. I think the game-winning goal was a by-product of that.”

With eight goals this season, Stuller matches her total from last season, which ranks in the top eight for a single season at CU. Her 22 total points this season ties for the most by a CU senior.

The Buffs conclude their three game road trip in Berkeley, Calif. (the site of their first ever Pac-12 Conference win). CU takes on No. 8 California at 1:30 p.m. MT on Friday, Oct. 18 before returning to Prentup Field for their final two home games of the season.

“I told the team after the match, this is the Pac-12, and after the game on Friday, we had to bounce back,” Sanchez said. “Nobody’s feeling sorry for anybody and the games are going to be like this. We have to continue the momentum and play with confidence. They’re a top 10, top 15 team with one loss … We know the challenge of being on the road. Hopefully we’re a little more comfortable with it and we’ll come out and play.”

 

Marlee Horn

Graduate Assistant SID

University of Colorado

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