Buffs Back to Work
BOULDER – The 25th anniversary season of Colorado soccer got its official start on Saturday. The Buffaloes returned to the pitch, marking the team's first training session of the 2020 season.
The team shook off the rust, having not been together as a team since March 12.
"It seems like it has been forever," head coach Danny Sanchez said following the session. "Sometimes we forget what we really do here and that's coach. The players that were here today had great energy and great focus. It was a little rusty but that was to be expected"
The sentiment was echoed by senior Katie Joella. But the overall feeling from the team was that it was just good to be out on the field again.
"Some of us haven't touched a ball in five months," Joella commented. "It was good to get back with the team, get some touches on the ball and finally get back in the swing of things."
Saturday was scheduled to be the team's first competition of 2020, playing Air Force in an exhibition match. Plans were shifted and the season came to a paused when the Pac-12 initially announced that all fall sports would compete in a conference-only schedule.
Plans changed again for the conference last week with the announcement that all competitions would be postponed with Jan. 1, 2021, set as the new target date.
"Like I told the team, 'Let's control what we can control,'" Sanchez added. "We got better as a team today."
The Buffs move into 2020 with four seniors on the roster, hoping they will get a chance to play their final season at some point down the road.
"The cancelation was at first hard to take in," senior Gabbi Chapa explained. "I think overall, the team took it [well]. We are here to train. We are here to get better. That's all we can ask for is that we are speaking the same language."
CU returns 18 players from last seasons' NCAA Tournament run. Coach Sanchez also added 11 newcomers to help fill in holes left by a strong departing senior class last season that included the No. 3 overall pick in the NWSL Draft, Taylor Kornieck, and Jalen Tompkins, CU's all-time wins and saves leader.
The quest for the program's 12th NCAA Tournament appearance remains in a holding pattern for now, but otherwise, it's going to be business as usual for the Buffs.
"We don't know what the future holds," Sanchez stated. "But that doesn't matter. We can enjoy these moments."