Soccer Set for NCAA Opener Friday
BOULDER - The University of Colorado women's soccer team will take on Colorado College on Friday at 2 p.m. in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament at Prentup Field.
Colorado is making its fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and will be playing at home for the first time in the 11 year history of the program.
"The chance to play in the NCAA Tournament again, and being able to play the game on our own field so the seniors can get another game at home is a great opportunity for us," said sophomore goalkeeper Kirstin Radlinski. "We are really looking forward to the challenge."
The Buffs are 12-5-4 on the season after making their second-consecutive trip to the Big 12 Championship game, where they tied No. 9 Texas before falling on penalty kicks. They are led offensively by Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Nikki Marshall, who has 16 goals and three assists on the season. The defense is anchored by four-time All-Big 12 selection Laura Munnelly, who is CU's career leader in minutes played and games played and started. CU is seeded No. 4 in the NCAA Tournament, the second time the Buffaloes have earned a seed.
They will face a Colorado College team that just completed its first season in Conference USA. CC is 15-5-1 overall after finishing with a 6-3 mark in league play. The Tigers tied with UTEP for fourth place and then beat the Miners (2-1 in overtime) in the conference quarterfinal on Nov. 1, then eliminated regular-season champion SMU (4-1) in a semifinal match on Nov. 3. They lost to UAB (3-2) in this past Sunday's title contest.
They are led in scoring by freshman Emily Beans, who has 13 goals and three assists on the season, the most by a CC freshman since 1986.
CC and CU have not met in regular season action since 2002. The Buffs own a 4-2 edge in the series, having won the last four in a row without giving up a goal. The teams met a year ago at Prentup Field in an exhibition match. CU won that tilt 1-0 on a Nikki Keller goal from Ashlie Mihalcin.
Colorado will also host another first round game, featuring the Denver Pioneers and Kentucky Wildcats at 11:30 a.m.
With three teams from the State of Colorado playing at Prentup, it marks an unprecedented amount of Colorado prep products competing in the NCAA Tournament in one place. CU features 11 players from the Centennial State, while DU boasts 19 and CC and UK each have one.
Prentup Field is located at 33rd Street and Colorado Avenue in Boulder. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for students from participating institutions, seniors and kids 12 and under, and $1 for kids five and under. Parking at Prentup Field is free. For more information, please call 303-49-BUFFS.