Buffs Upset No. 10 California
BERKELEY, Calif. — The Colorado soccer team got back in the win column on Friday with a 2-1 win over No. 10 California at Witter Rugby Field.
Colorado (4-1-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12) got the first two goals of the match from Hannah Sharts and Shanade Hopcroft and held on to the one-goal lead for the final 10 minutes. Dani Hansen, who has been the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week the past two weeks, made three saves for the Buffs.
The win for the Buffaloes marked its first against a top 10 opponent since CU beat No. 7 Washington State on Oct. 4, 2018. It is also CU's first win against a top 10 team on the road since its 3-2 win at No. 10 Cal in double overtime on Oct. 23, 2016.
"Cal is a very good team," Head coach Danny Sanchez said after the match. "They are every bit deserving of their ranking. I thought we played with a lot more confidence. Even if we wouldn't have gotten the result, I told the team we played a lot better. We were more confident in our possession. We were more confident going forward and collectively defensively we competed better. That's what you have to do in the Pac-12."
California (2-1-0, 1-1-0 Pac-12) led CU 18-11 in shots and 4-3 in shots on goal. The Golden Bears put up 10 shots in the second half in an attempt to make a comeback, but only three landed on net in the final 45 minutes.
How it happened: Neither side was able to generate anything on net for a majority of the first half.
Each team had three shots inside the first 13 minutes to start the match, but Cal was the only one to get one on target in the 8th minute, forcing Hansen into action.
Colorado's first shot on net didn't come until the Sharts goal in the 44th minute. Amaya Gonzalez fought to win a corner kick, putting the Buffs in a spot where they have been dangerous this season. Lawson Willis served up the ball and Sharts was there for the finish to give CU the 1-0 lead right before the half.
Cal registered the first three shots of the second half but didn't get a real threat on net. The first scoring chance of the period went to Colorado. Junior Sofia Weiner directed a shot to the left side of the net, forcing Angelina Anderson to make her first save.
CU had only two more shots in the second half, finishing with three in the final stanza. Kayleigh Webb hit one high over the net in the 64th minute and then nine minutes later the Buffs got back on the board off the foot of Hopcroft.
"We talked about the first 15 minutes being key in the second half," Sanchez explained. "I thought Shanade was all over the place today. She picked off the ball at midfield and dribbled past the center back and slotted the goalkeeper for the game-winner."
Sydney Collins scored Cal's lone goal in the 80th minute.
The final 10 minutes were a stalemate. Cal got a corner opportunity in the 83rd minute but came up empty on the effort.
"I was really pleased with how we defended," Sanchez continued. "Especially our back four. Sharts, Willis, Jade Babcock-Chi and Jayden Newkirk. I thought Kayleigh had one of her better games as a Buff. She was all over the place in the midfield, winning balls, getting forward and spreading the ball around. It was a collective effort in the last stretch so I'm pleased with that and excited to play Stanford on Sunday."
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Up Next: The Buffs will take on No. 23 Stanford on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. MT and will be on the Pac-12 Networks.
Notes: Sharts now leads the team in goals (3) and points (6)…the assist by Willis was her third of the season…Sharts has scored three goals on five shots on goal this season…Hansen now has 35 saves on the season…Freshman Shyra James had two shots, giving her a team-high 12 this season…the win was No. 99 for Coach Sanchez at CU…the win was also CU's eighth all-time against a top 10 team.