Buffs Roll in Home-Opener
BOULDER— Three goals in 25 minutes helped the Colorado soccer team improve to 2-0-0 in the young season at Prentup Field on Wednesday.
The Buffaloes triumphed over Colorado School of Mines, in a game that didn't exist on either team's schedules until Monday. Unique circumstances left Colorado short one game and looking to fill a hole. Colorado Mines stepped up and agreed to play CU for the first time in series history.
"The first thing I want to say is that I how appreciative I am of Colorado School of Mines and their head coach Kevin Fickes to come out and play us on short notice," head coach Danny Sanchez commented postgame. "They are a first-class team. You can see the quality of their program and for them to come out on short notice and give us a match, speaks volumes about their team. I'm sure their players cherish this opportunity and improved and played well."
All three goals for CU came in the first half, as they did last Thursday against Colorado State.
Coach Sanchez slotted four true freshmen into the starting lineup ahead of playing No. 1 Florida State. Wednesday offered a different look than they have opened with previously this season. Freshman Hannah Duguid capitalized on her first career start, opening the scoring with her first career goal in the 14th minute. Senior Kayleigh Webb and sophomore Shyra James closed out the Buffs' offense, finding the net two more times in the half.
"We would have trained really hard today [if no game was played]," Sanchez said about the lineup changes. "Maybe some of the players didn't work as hard as they maybe would have at training. It was really about finding a rhythm and working on some different formations. We moved some people around. Hailey Stodden got her first minutes. I think there were tons of positives we can take from it. We know the challenge ahead and we're going to have to play really well on Sunday."
Colorado outshot Mines 19-10 and 7-4 in shots on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Bella Grust got the nod in net, making four saves in her first-career shutout.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Buffs opened the match a little hesitant, allowing the Orediggers to mount early offensive threats. CSM recorded the game's first four shots, forcing Grust to make a save in the 9th minute.
Colorado earned the game's first corner kick in the 12th minute and that allowed the Buffs to settle into the match. From that point on it was all Colorado.
CU's first shot was Duguid's tally in the 14th minute. Junior Allie Palangi headed a clearing attempt from Mines to the feet of freshman Ellen Jones. Jones slipped the ball over to Duguid who split two defenders at the 18 and beat the Mines keeper with a chip off the outside of her right foot, notching the eventual game-winner.
"I found out about getting the start when I walked into the locker room," Duguid noted. "I saw my name on the board and I wasn't really expecting that. I was really excited to get the goal. I didn't celebrate because I didn't know what to do."
Webb's goal came in the 22nd' minute. Palangi started the sequence, picking up her second assist of the day, with a free kick that senior Hannah Sharts directed towards the back post. Webb sprinted in from the back of the play and slid to meet the ball at the top corner of the six, launching the ball into the back of the net.
James picked up her second goal in as many games, adding some insurance in the 39th minute. Sophomore Rachel Rosen served a corner kick into the middle of the box, finding an unmarked James who was able to head the ball over the reach of the Mines' keeper.
Of Grusts' four saves, only one was a real scoring threat. Grust went up high to stop a shot in the 75th minute, punching the shot from traffic high over the crossbar to preserve the shutout.
"I thought [Grust] did really well," Sanchez added. "I think Mines put some pressure on in the second half and she made the saves. She organized things. The distribution was good. Her communication was good. It's tough to come in as a freshman. It was a great opportunity for her to get some experience. I thought she was very good today."
Colorado welcomes in No. 1 Florida State on Sunday. The game is set for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff on the Pac-12 Networks.
Colorado starts 2-0-0 for the third consecutive season...Palangi and Rosen both lead the team with two assists this season...CU scored two more goals off set pieces (Webb, James)...CU has now scored three of its four goals this season off set pieces...Colorado has 11 corner kicks this season to opponents' three...Looking ahead, CU is 0-8 against No. 1 ranked opponents...the last time CU played a No. 1 was at Stanford in 2018.