Colorado Falls at Washington
SEATTLE — Colorado relied heavily on the efforts of goalkeeper Dani Hansen for the second match in a row, but the Buffaloes were unable to muster up enough support for their netminder on Sunday. The Buffaloes' keeper made nine saves in the 2-1 losing effort to the Huskies.
"It's tough for both teams to play basically back-to-back," head coach Danny Sanchez explained. "I was pleased with how we competed today. I thought we did a much better job of competing with the ball. There still wasn't enough going forward for us. We're not quite clicking on the attack yet. When you defend for that long, eventually the dam is going to break."
Washington (3-0-1, 0-0-1 Pac-12) scored the first goal of the season against the Buffs in the 18th minute. The Huskies controlled the pace of play for nearly the first half, putting six shots on goal in the first 45 minutes.
Colorado (3-1-1, 0-0-1 Pac-12) got a late goal from Shyra James to even the score right before the half. CU had its opportunities to break the tie in the second half but could not get anything on target.
The Huskies built-up momentum in the latter third of the match and got one past Hansen in the 86th minute, proving to be the final blow.
"Washington is a good team," Sanchez continued. "This is a second-round NCAA Tournament team with a majority of their players back. We knew it would be a tough weekend, so we'll build off some of the positives. It's all Pac-12 play from here on out. Now we turn our focus to Cal next Friday."
If not for Hansen, CU could have easily gone 0-2 against the Huskies. The reigning Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week made 20 total saves in the two matches, posting 11 in the 0-0 draw on Friday.
"We're going to have to continue to work hard and continue to believe," Sanchez added. "We need to find more success going forward which will take some pressure off our backs, which were under a lot of pressure this weekend."
How it happened: Colorado tried to generate more offense in Sunday's second meeting with a few changes from Friday's lineup. Sophomore Amaya Gonzalez was entered at the top of the lineup, picking up her first career start. Juniors Libby Geraghty and Jesse Loren were also plugged back into the starting lineup.
"We changed our tactics [from Friday] a little bit and move some people around," Sanchez commented. "I thought we did a better job of keeping the ball. However, there still wasn't enough. Once we broke their pressure there wasn't enough quality. There wasn't enough confidence or building and getting numbers into the final third. That's something we're going to have to improve on as we continue going forward."
Hansen was called on early, making two saves in the three saves in the first 17 minutes. The Huskies got on the board in the 18th minute, off a long throw-in play right in front of the UW bench. Ruby Hellstrom tossed the ball to the top of the 18 where it was played in off the head of Olivia Van Der Jagt. The ball was directed towards the far post, forcing Hansen to drift in that direction. UW's Summer Yates directed the ball back across the goal, catching Hansen out of position for the opening tally.
Jenny Beyer recorded the first shot of the afternoon for the Buffs right after the UW goal, hitting it high. Hansen made two more saves in the half to keep it a 1-0 game until the 44th minute.
Freshman Lawson Willis played a dangerous ball in from just off the centerline. James flicked it past Olivia Sekany from the eight yards out, tying the game before the half.
James' shot proved to be the lone ball on target for the Buffs. Colorado was credited with five shots on the day, getting two looks in the second half, but neither would result in a save.
Yates tipped in UW's game-winner, for her second of the game, in the 86th minute. The ball was fed in off another set-piece, finding Yates for the toe-tap at the goal line.
"Set pieces win games," Sanchez summed up. "They win tight games. It was a little disappointing because the players we identified as people that we have to deal with on set pieces are the ones that got the goals in the assessment. Set pieces come from having to defend and having to foul in dangerous spots. Credit to them for what they did. Games are won and lost on set pieces and that was the case today."
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Up Next: Colorado will be in action again on Mar. 5, taking on California in Berkeley. They will then head over to Stanford on Mar. 7.
Notes: CU hasn't allowed a goal this season between Hansen and Megan Short, opening with 404:23 without allowing a goal to start the season (8th longest shutout streak in CU history)…Hansen has made 32 saves in her four starts (three shutouts)…Washington finished with 24 shots for the second consecutive match…James is now tied with Hannah Sharts for the team lead in goals (2)…She leads the team with five points this season…Willis now has two assists this season, both to James.