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Buffs Shut Out SMC 2-0, Break Record

Sep 1, 2013

BOULDER – When the University of Colorado and Saint Mary’s College soccer teams meet, records have a way of being broken.

In 2009, the Buffaloes scored a program high eight goals, behind multiple goal performances by both Nikki Marshall and Kelly Butler. In 2013, in just their second meeting, a 2-0 CU victory was another record breaker.

The Buffs have broken the record the squad set last season, shutting out their first four opponents, a program first. Last season, the Buffs set the precedent by shutting out their first three opponents, on their way to a record setting five game unbeaten streak to start the season. In the fourth game of that year, Anne Stuller recorded her third multiple goal game of 2012.

This year, Stuller continues to make her mark, becoming the first player since Kate Russell in 2010 to record at least two assists in a single game. In just her fourth collegiate game, Brie Hooks also continues to shine, scoring both of the Buffs’ goals in the win.

“I think they were two good balls from Stuller,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We need (Stuller) scoring goals, but we need her creating goals, and she’s doing that. The first one, she just put the ball in a dangerous spot, and fortunately for us it went in. The second one was a good run to get in behind the defense. It was a good shot coming off frame for the score.”

Hooks has already scored five goals and had two multiple goal games in the young season. She joins an elite group, becoming one of five Buffs to have recorded at least two multiple goal games in a single season. She joins Nikki Marshall (three in 2006 and two in both 2007 and 2009), Katie Griffin (three in 2005 and two in 2003), Stuller (three in 2012) and Fran Munnelly (two in 2005). She also ties Melissa Cartmell for fifth on the freshmen goals list.

With the win, the Buffs improve to a perfect 4-0, also a program first. After facing back-to-back ranked opponents before coming to Prentup Field on Sunday, the Gaels fall to 1-3.

“I like how we started today,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been starting slow, and we came out really fast. We had a couple good chances early, put Saint Mary’s under pressure with those early goals, which really kind of takes the pressure off the defense a little bit … We were good in the back today. Saint Mary’s did cause us some problems with some of their runs, and they had a good early chance that could have made it a different game. Big picture, especially in the second half, I felt we were very solid and did a good job.”

The Buffs outshot the Gaels 15-8, including an outstanding 10-3 differential in the first half. It took just 39 seconds for Stuller to take the first shot for the Buffs, and just over three minutes for CU to get its first goal.

At the 3:11 mark, the Buffs controlled the pace, with Hooks getting the ball from Stuller on the right side to give the Buffs the early 1-0 lead.

Stuller, who led the Buffs with seven shots, including three on goal, kept up her early attack. In just over a three minute span, Stuller took three shots, forcing a save in the 10th minute.

It took until the 14th minute for the Gaels to take their first shot, with Vicki Shimkus taking the first of her team-high three shots. The Gaels continued to control possession, but couldn’t seem to keep the ball out of their backfield. In the 29th minute, Hooks again caused a rumble at the net, but sent the ball wide.  

Shimkus responded once more for the Gaels, hitting one wide less than a minute later. The Buffs would dominate both sides of the ball until halftime, allowing no shots in the final 15 minutes and scoring once more in the 36th minute. For the third time this season, and second in the game, Stuller connected with Hooks to give the Buffs the 2-0 lead.

“The first one was an accident, again just trying to cross it, and luckily it happened to go in,” Hooks said. “The second one was a really good cross from Stu, which we’ve been working on, getting those long balls over the back. She played a perfect ball, with just a touch and then I tried to slot it in.”

SMC was in fighting mode to begin the second half. Just 1:14 in, Amanda Glass sent one at CU keeper Annie Brunner. Less than a minute later, Melinda Madden hit one wide.

The Buffs responded in the 50th minute, with Hayley Hughes hitting it high. After a CU corner kick, Stuller had her shot blocked. CU remained on their offensive frenzy, with Saint Mary’s keeper Kaeli Schmidt jumping at a Bianca Jones shot, tapping the ball just over the top post in the 57th minute. With 30 minutes remaining, Darcy Jerman got a touch off a corner kick, but caught the ride side of the net.       

From the 65th minute on, the Gaels began to press the Buffs, outshooting CU 3-1. With less than eight minutes remaining, Shimkus had another solid shot, but sent it just wide right. In the 87th minute, the Gaels tried again, but Brunner grabbed her third save of the game to hold the shutout.  

The Buffs leave Prentup for the final time of the non-conference portion of the season for the DU Invitational at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium next weekend. CU opens play against Alabama at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 and faces UT-Martin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.

“Alabama’s an SEC school off to a good start,” Sanchez said. “UT-Martin has won their conference the last couple of years. They made it to the tournament and lost in the first round in overtime last year. I know their coach from back in the DII days. Phil McNamara is a very good coach. I’m sure the team is very well coached, so tough challenges at DU next weekend.”