Quick Start Propels Buffs Past Air Force
USAFA, Colo.— The Colorado Buffaloes opened the 2021 Colorado Cup with a 2-0 win at Air Force on Saturday night. The game was played as an exhibition but will count towards Colorado's points in the Cup standings.
"It felt like a real game," head coach Danny Sanchez explained after the match. "It was great to get everyone a lot of minutes. Everyone played at least 45 minutes and most played 50 or 60 minutes over the 90 minutes plus the 20 minutes of extra time [added at the end of the exhibition]. That was great to get a really good look at everyone."
Sophomore Rachel Rosen got the evening started early on for the Buffs, tallying the game's first goal in the seventh minute. Colorado's second goal came in the 61st minute, thanks to a fantastic feed by sophomore Shyra James to senior Shanade Hopcroft.
All available players got to see action on Saturday, meaning a majority of the fresh faces will now have one collegiate game under their belts before Thursday's season-opener against Colorado State.
"I think they [freshmen] all did great," Rosen noted. "Bell [Grust] did amazing in goal. All of them did great. Honestly, I think we have a lot to work on as a team, but they did a good job in the first game. It's always hard."
Junior Dani Hansen started the match in net for the Buffs. She stopped the only shot she faced in the first half before giving way to freshman Bella Grust. Grust started the second half and made one save to preserve the shutout.
Hopcroft and junior Allie Palangi led the team with two shots apiece. The Buffs closed the night doubling up the Falcons 10-5 in shots.
Colorado and Denver were the only two teams to pull out a win on the opening day of the Colorado Cup. The Pioneers get the advantage over the Buffs in goal differential, defeating Colorado College 3-1.
The Buffs continue Colorado Cup play at home against CSU on Thursday (4 p.m.) and will close the challenge against Colorado College next Sunday in Denver (Noon).