Colorado Rolls Against Northern Colorado
BOULDER — It took 165 minutes, but the Colorado soccer team got its first goal of the season and then some against Northern Colorado on Thursday.
The Buffaloes dominated the Bears on the way to the 3-0 victory, improving to 2-0-0 on the season.
CU opened the account in the 68th minute getting the game-winning goal from junior Hannah Sharts. The Buffs scored three goals in 12 minutes, getting insurance tallies from freshman Shyra James and junior Jesse Loren.
"I think as the game went along, we started putting more pressure on," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "We really started keeping the ball better and getting in the final third and making decisions. The first goal off the corner kick was a little bit sloppy, but the last few goals were very good. The goals by Shyra James and Jesse Loren, you aren't going to get many better goals than that. I'm pleased with the result. Northern Colorado is a very good team."
Colorado has now won 11 consecutive matches against Northern Colorado, outscoring UNC 33-0 in the series dating back to 1996.
How it happened: The Buffs' first goal was set up off a corner opportunity. Freshman Jenny Beyer sent the ball into the box and it got headed on net by Kayleigh Webb. The ball bounced around and eventually found the left foot of Sharts, who was standing at the left post to tap it in.
The Buffs scored on their very next shot in the 77th minute. The goal was off a great feed from freshman Lawson Willis. She was able to find a streaking James down the middle of the field. James battled off the UNC defender in the box and kicked the ball across the goal, finding the lower right corner of the net as she was falling to the ground.
CU got on the board again three minutes later in the 80th minute. This time it was James with the assist, passing the ball to Loren who placed the ball perfectly into the top left corner of the net from 25 yards out.
"I saw Shyra dribbling across the goal and I saw a perfect opportunity for her to lay it off," Loren explained. "I called for the ball and she laid it off perfectly so I could hit it first time. I'm just thinking, 'Just get over the ball, and just put it on frame.' That's what I did, and it went upper-V so I'm pretty happy about it."
The match got off to a slower tempo start than CU's previous outing against DU. Colorado got two early corner kicks in the 5th minute but didn't get a good shot on goal early in the 6th minute from Tessa Barton.
Libby Geraghty and James each had chances to get Colorado on the board in the first half, but UNC's Morgan Bury made save after save in the first 45 minutes. The Buffs totaled 10 shots in the first half, getting four on target.
Megan Short, getting her first minutes in net, wasn't too busy on the afternoon. UNC only got two shots off in the first half and just five in the game, but none made it on net.
Two of UNC's three second-half shots came in the first 10 minutes of the half. From that point on it was all Colorado.
"If you think about it, this is our second game in 15 months," Sanchez added. "We're playing against a good team that has experienced defenders. The first half I thought once again we were a little impatient. It kind of reminded me of DU, but in the second half, I want to give credit to the players. The movement was better. We created a lot of good chances and as I said scored three really good goals. I'm pleased with that, but a lot of work to do as we head towards conference play."
BY THE NUMBERS:
Up Next: Colorado will have more than a week to prepare for its next match on Feb. 20. The Buffs will host Weber State. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
Notes: CU hasn't allowed a goal this season between Short and Dani Hansen, opening with 187 minutes of shutout play…James is the first freshman since Kyla Ferry (11/16/19) to score a goal and record an assist in the same game…Beyer and Willis' assists marked their first career-points…Beyer made her first career start…Filipa Graneld and Haley Harnisch each made their CU debuts.