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Late Stanford Goal Does Buffs In

Mar 7, 2021

Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

STANFORD, Calif. — Colorado overcame an early Stanford goal to play even with the No. 23 Cardinal for much of the match at Maloney Field at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium on Sunday. Stanford threw the fatal blow in the 88th minute, escaping the Buffaloes' grasp, 2-1. 

Stanford (3-2-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12) got on the board right out of the gate in the 4th, due in part to a rare mishandle in net. The Buffs kept pushing the remainder of the half to get the equalizer, with their efforts coming to fruition in the 45th minute off the head of Hannah Sharts

"Sometimes when you give up that early goal you hang your head," head coach Danny Sanchez explained. "I was really pleased with how we responded. Stanford's a very good team. I thought, collectively, defending we did a great job on their dangerous players. To get the goal right before half really got our energy going in the second half."

Colorado (4-2-1, 1-1-1 Pac-12) was outshout on the day by the Cardinal, 17-10, but made the most of its five shots on net throughout the day. Freshman Shyra James totaled three shots on net to lead the CU charge. Dani Hansen recovered after her early hiccup, making seven saves. 

"The big picture of it is that it was a good weekend for us on the road against two very good teams," Sanchez added. "Now we have to build off that."

How it happened: Stanford's first shot of the day found the back of the net just 3:30 into the game. Sarah Paulson chipped the ball on frame from the left side of the goal box, catching Hansen off guard. The ball hit off the CU keeper's hands and into the net, putting the Buffs in an early 1-0 hole. 

CU fought back with the next two scoring chances, both coming off the foot of James. She put CU's first shot on net in the 9th minute and then just missed evening up the score in the 13th minute. 

Freshman Lawson Willis, who has been dangerous setting up CU's set pieces, served up a ball from midfield. James beat a swarm of Stanford defends to the ball and stretched her left leg out, tipping the shot just wide of the left post. 

James got another shot on net in the 22nd minute, skipping a ball in on Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer from 22 yards out.

The Buffs offense got quiet in the latter portion of the half as the defense battled to keep Stanford's lead at 1-0. The Cardinal had four shots in the final 23 minutes of the half, forcing Hansen to make three saves. 

CU's goal came with 14 seconds left in the first half. Stanford was whistled for a foul right in front of the CU bench. Lawson directed the ball toward the middle of the box and the 5-11 Sharts out-leaped the cluster of players, heading the ball into the empty net. 

"I've always said it's all about the service," Sanchez noted. "Fortunately for us, we have some players that can serve good balls and that's the key. Then we obviously have some good targets. [Set pieces] are always a danger. We want to continue with that, but we want to continue to create more chances from the run of play."

Hansen was called on early in the second half, making two saves in the first seven minutes. James put another ball on net in the 60th, but that would be the only shot on goal for CU until late in the match. 

Stanford nearly broke the tie in the 68th minute off a shot by Amy Sayer. The ball beat Hansen but caught the crossbar dead on. It was 20 minutes later, when Stanford's Civana Kuhlmann, dribbled into the box and beat a charging Hansen, putting the ball into the empty net with two minutes left to play. 

The Buffs fought hard in the last two minutes to get the equalizer. Freshman Jenny Beyer had Meyer one-on-one, but couldn't lift the ball over Meyer, who deflected the ball wide of the open net. 

Shots: 10
Fouls: 11
Saves: 7

Shots: 17
Fouls: 10
Saves: 4

Up Next: Colorado plays six of its last nine at home, starting with UCLA and USC next weekend. The Buffs will take on the Bruins at Noon on Friday and then turn around and face the Trojans at 1 p.m. MT on Sunday. Both matches will be on the Pac-12 Networks. 

Notes: Sharts continues to lead the team in goals (4) and points (8)…the assist by Willis was her fourth of the season (two to Sharts)…Sharts has scored four goals on six shots on goal this season (.750)…Hansen now has 42 saves on the season…James leads the team with 16 total shots and nine shots on goal…Coach Sanchez remains at 99 career wins at CU…CU falls to 0-12-0 all-time against Stanford…Stanford goal at 87:33 is the second latest game-winning goal allowed by CU in regulation (89:03 at Denver, Sept. 4, 2012)…Stanford's first goal (3:33) is the 12th earliest goal scored by a CU opponent.