Colorado Focused in on Mines
BOULDER – The fallout from Colorado soccer's no-contest against Colorado State continues to be felt by the Buffaloes. CU originally had just one opponent, No. 1 Florida State, this week to plan for but added Colorado Mines on short notice to fill the gap left by the Rams.
Instead of having all week to prepare for the top-ranked Seminoles, Colorado had to shift focus to a very good Colorado Mines team.
"I think sometimes coaches overthink things," head coach Danny Sanchez. "I think early in the year we're still developing as a squad. An opportunity to play a very good team at home, it's not something we wanted to pass up on."
Colorado (1-0-0) and Colorado Mines have never met on the pitch, despite the two campuses being separated by just 20 miles. The Orediggers, who play in Division II's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, went unbeaten (7-0-3) in their 2020 season. Mines was selected as the preseason favorite in the 2021 RMAC Coaches' Poll earlier this month.
If there is anybody who can speak to the amount of talent and competition in the RMAC it is Coach Sanchez. Sanchez, a 2018 RMAC Hall of Fame inductee, coached at Metro State University of Denver from 2002-07, winning six RMAC Championships, three RMAC Tournaments and two NCAA DII National Championships.
"We know the quality of Colorado School of Mines," Sanchez added. "Our team MVP [Shanade Hopcroft] last year came from the RMAC. We know the quality of players that they develop and the quality of their coaching staff. We don't have any illusions that this is nothing but a very good match for us.
"Whenever we had an opportunity when I was at Metro State to play a big program even in the spring, we jumped on it," Sanchez recalled. "Colorado Mines looks at this as a great opportunity to get them ready for their season. It's also a great opportunity for us to continue to develop and get ready for a very tough non-conference slate that continues this weekend."
The Buffs squeaked out a 1-0 win over Colorado College to open the season in Denver on Sunday. Sophomore Shyra James closed out the game in the 98th minute with a deflection off a corner kick, netting her third career game-winner. The Buffs scored three goals in 51 total minutes in the original season-opener against CSU. The now-notorious contest was wiped off the board, allowing Colorado to add Mines to the schedule this week.
Admission to Prentup Field on Wednesday is free. The game will be streamed online at CUBuffs.com/WatchSoc.