Buffs Fall in Overtime
BOULDER—Colorado had its chance, but Washington State was the first team to catch a break Saturday afternoon at Prentup Field. The Cougars got the golden goal in the 98th minute, taking the 1-0 win.
"It was a typical Pac-12 battle," head coach Danny Sanchez said after the game. "It was a single game weekend so everyone kind of left it on the field."
The loss was CU's second at home this season, dropping the Buffaloes to 6-4-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Pac-12.
Washington State (5-1-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12) ended the game on its 18th shot of the afternoon. Makamae Gomera-Stevens recorded the winner in the waning minutes of the first overtime period, as she streaked in from midfield and beat Dani Hansen to the far corner.
WSU outshot Colorado 18-15, but the Buffs got 12 shots off in the second half and overtime. Hansen was terrific in net for CU, making seven saves on the day. Marissa Zucchetto matched Hansen's effort for WSU, registering five saves.
"We gave them some chances in the first 20 minutes, but I felt especially, in the second half and as the game went on we started to find our feet and create chances," Sanchez added"
HOW IT HAPPENED – Washington State pressured the Buffaloes early in the first half, nearly getting on the board in the seventh minute. MacKenzie Ellertson volleyed a ball across the goalmouth that was cleared to safety by Hannah Sharts from just off the goal line.
Hansen was busy early on, making five saves in the first half. Her first save of the day came in the 9th minute, denying the Cougars from close in. The first-year Buff made a diving stop to her right in the 15th minute, minimizing another WSU scoring-chance.
The Cougars threatened again in the 18th minute, forcing Hansen to make her third stop of the game. The Cougars' best chance of the first half came off a free kick in the 23rd minute. Hansen dove to her left to corral the shot from 28 yards away.
The Buffs' first scoring opportunity presented itself in the 29th minute. Lawson Willis looked to connect on a corner kick, finding Sharts in the box. The 5-11 defender headed the ball into traffic and was cleared off the goal box by Washington State.
The last big push of the first half came from WSU in the 41st minute. A CU defender fell to the ground at the top of the 18, allowing Grayson Lynch to walk in alone and fire a shot on net. Hansen made another diving save, making sure the game would remain scoreless at the half.
Kayleigh Webb had two opportunities to give the Buffs the lead in the 52nd minute. Her first shot was blocked from 22 yards out and the rebound bounced right back to her. Webb put the second effort on net, forcing a save from Zucchetto.
CU's best chance came in the 56th minute. The Buffs drew a foul and Willis, CU's set-piece specialist, played the free-kick to the top of the penalty area. Sofia Weiner got the first opportunity with her shot getting deflected by Shyra James. The ball found its way to Shanade Hopcroft, who rang her chance off the woodwork.
"Shanade [Hopcroft] hitting the crossbar was one of our best chances of the game," Sanchez noted. "Then as we got in the overtime sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The game is so stretched at that point. Credit to their players for the nice goal. Now we will gear up and get ready for the Oregon schools next weekend."
Colorado continued to push the pace, but it was WSU who would almost find the net in the 71st minute. Alyssa Gray made a move along the end line cutting back towards the middle of the field. She put a hard shot on net and Hansen trapped the ball between her legs.
James had a final attempt on net in the 85th minute, taking a feed from Jesse Loren and squeezing a shot through two defenders Zucchetto made a diving stop and didn't allow a rebound chance.
Webb fired a long shot in the 96th minute, marking CU's lone chance in the overtime. Two minutes later Gomera-Stevens ended the afternoon.
"I think every game has been like this," Sanchez further explained. "I think that there were times today where we could have had a little bit more composure. It was a highly charged match with both teams leaving it all out there, just like I knew it would be. I felt there were times when our players didn't show enough composure and kind of have a feel for the game and what it was giving you. Having said that, we had chances to win the match as well, especially after the first 20-25 minutes.
"We have to take some positives from it. We have five games left and they're all Pac-12 teams that are competing for NCAA Tournament bids, as are we. We can feel sorry for ourselves here for a few more hours and then we have to get ready for the Oregon schools."
BY THE NUMBERS
UP NEXT: The Buffs head off to Corvallis, Ore., to start their final road trip of the season. The team will take on Oregon State on Friday (8 p.m. MT) and then travel to Eugene to play the Ducks on Saturday (Noon MT).
NOTES: Colorado is now 0-2-1 when being shutout this season (0-0 tie at Washington)…Hansen now has 62 saves on the season…Webb led the team with four shots…James had three shots, increasing her team lead to 33 on the season…All three of James' shots were not net (15 SOG this season)…Haileigh Adams was awarded a yellow card in the 23rd minute…WSU picked up two yellow cards in the 61st minute and the 88th minute.