The University of Colorado soccer team looks to continue its hot start to the season against Air Force and St. Mary’s. The Buffs open the weekend against their third straight in-state opponent, taking on the Falcons at 5 p.m. on Friday. They conclude a three-game home-stand at 1 p.m. on Sunday against the Gaels. In the opening weekend, CU recorded back-to-back shutouts against Northern Colorado and Colorado College in the third annual Colorado Cup.

Falcon soccer player Rhett Chase

Falcon soccer player Rhett Chase

COLORADO VS. AIR FORCE: The Buffs hold a 4-1 lead over the Falcons. CU’s lone loss was a 1-0 defeat in the Buffs’ first season (1996). After an eight season series hiatus, the in-state opponents resumed play last season, with the Buffs winning 2-0. Three of the Buffs’ four wins over AFA have been shutouts.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS: The Falcons are off to a 1-0-1 start, tying Montana 1-1 and falling 2-1 to TCU at the Montana Kickoff Invitational. Air Force returns six starters from last year’s squad that scored 12 goals and went 5-9-3 (0-7 Mountain West). The Falcons lost Stephanie Patterson, who scored five goals in her final season, but welcome 12 newcomers. AFA’s two goals this season have come off of just three shots by freshman Noelle Heiser and junior Kylie Williamson.

COLORADO VS. ST. MARY’S: The Buffs and Gaels have met just once, in 2009. The 8-1 CU victory was a record breaker. Nikki Marshall scored four goals (tying her own record for most goals scored in a single game) and Kelly Butler scored two. The eight total goals are the most the Buffs have scored in a single game and the 19 total points ranks second. The 28 shots ties for fifth on the single game list. CU also scored off an own goal for only the second time in program history.

SCOUTING THE GAELS: The Gaels enter the weekend with a 1-1 record after defeating Grand Canyon 3-0 and falling to No. 11 San Diego State 1-0. SMC returns eight starters from last year’s squad, including All-West Coast Conference honorable mentions Melinda Madden and Vicki Shimkus (last year’s leading scorer) and Canada Word Cup U-19 member Caroline Beauline.  The Gaels posted a 6-12-2 (1-7 WCC) record in 2012.

PEDAL TO PRENTUP: Make a healthy and environmentally friendly trip to Prentup Field on Friday, Aug. 30 to watch CU take on Air Force at 5 p.m. The first 200 fans who bike to Prentup will receive a free CU T-shirt. Admission is free, though fans can make a $5 donation to the Buff Club to show their support for the team, so grab your family and friends for a bike ride to Prentup Field.

FAMILIAR FACES: Santa Clara transfer Brooke Rice will face former West Coast Conference opponent Saint Mary’s on Sunday. Rice played in 26 games in two seasons at Santa Clara.

LAST WEEK: The Buffs opened the 2013 season with the third annual Colorado Cup. In the opening game against Northern Colorado, the Buffs shut out the Bears 3-0 for the third straight year. In seven meetings between the two teams, the Buffs have never lost, much less given up a goal. It took just over 33 minutes into the game for freshman Brie Hooks to score her first goal as a Buff, and then just another 45 to score again, this time off an assist from Darcy Jerman. The Buffs’ other goal came off an own goal, marking just the fifth own goal in program history. On Sunday, Hooks once again led the Buffs to victory, scoring off an Anne Stuller assist, to defeat Colorado College 1-0.

TIEBREAKER: Colorado and Denver both concluded the Colorado Cup with two wins and an equal goal differential. Though Denver allowed one goal and Colorado allowed zero, Denver took home the title by scoring one more goal than the Buffs. Despite losing the trophy, the Buffs have two titles under their belts and have remained undefeated through six games in three Cups.

HOOKS, LINE AND SINKER: In her first two games as a Buff, freshman Brie Hooks has already scored three goals. Against UNC, Hooks became the first player in program history to have a multi-goal performance in her Colorado debut. Other Buffs to reach similar milestones are Katie Griffin, who scored two goals in her second game at CU in 2003 and Nikki Marshall, who netted four in just her third game in 2006. Hooks followed up her fabulous introduction by hitting the lone goal and game-winner against CC. Her impressive opening weekend helped her to CU’s first Athlete of the Week honors of 2013.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: A record crowd showed their support for the Buffs in the home opener on Sunday. 1,364 fans were in attendance for the final games of the Colorado Cup, breaking into the 10th spot on CU’s all-time crowds at Prentup Field. This is the second Colorado Cup game to rank in the top 10. CU’s battle against Northern Colorado on August 21, 2011 in the inaugural Cup drew 1,911 fans, ranking fourth all time at Prentup.

[includeme src=”http://c1n.tv/boulder/media/bouldersponsors.html” frameborder=”0″ width=”670″ height=”300″]