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Buffs Fall at No. 6 TCU

Sep 2, 2021

FORT WORTH – No. 6 TCU got two goals from Gracie Collins Thursday night sending Colorado back to Boulder empty-handed, 2-0.

Colorado (2-2-0) playing its second top 10 team in five days, drops its second match of the season. TCU remains undefeated moving to 4-0-0 on the season. 

"For whatever reason, we came out slow [tonight]," head coach Danny Sanchez commented postgame. "To be fair, TCU's first goal took a little bit of a deflection, but we didn't defend it well and we dug ourselves a whole. We still had plenty of game to get back into it and we didn't really start playing until we went down 2-0. Then all of a sudden there was an urgency.

"At the end of the day, we didn't bring the same intensity that we did on Sunday [against No. 1 Florida State]," Sanchez continued. "It's a top-six team on the road and we have to play well. Unfortunately, we didn't for enough stretches."

Collins broke the bank in the 7th minute and forced the Buffs to push the remainder of the night. The 2020 Big 12 champions' offensive pressure just outweighed CU's attempts. The Horned Frogs outshot CU 22-10 and led 7-2 in shots on goal. 

Colorado junior Dani Hansen finished with four saves. Freshman Bella Grust replaced Hansen in net in the 71st minute, making one save.    

"It's important to give everybody some playing time that we feel can help us," Sanchez said of the switch. "We know Bella is a good player and she can help us short team and long term. It was a good experience for her to jump in and play the last 20 minutes against a tough team on the road."

The Horned Frogs struck early, notching the only goal of the first half in the 7th minute. Collins made a run down the right side of the box and took an odd-angle shot that snuck through the outstretched arms of Hansen. 

The Buffs did a good job of recovering, trying to use the team's speed to generate offense. CU's chances in the first half were created off the long ball, trying to outrace the TCU defense. Junior Tessa Barton and senior Shandae Hopcroft were both tasked with trying to win the offensive battles up top, but CU didn't get a shot on net until the 39th minute when Shyra James forced TCU keeper Lauren Kellett into action. Allie Palangi picked up CU's only other shot on goal of the night in the 40th minute, rolling one in on Kellett.

"I think we wanted to work on our movement," Sanchez noted. "I thought our movement attack was decent for stretches. We knew that TCU was a good team that possesses the ball well. We just didn't take care of it well enough going forward. Having said that, we created some decent chances and won a lot of corners but we just didn't do enough."

Senior Hannah Sharts helped keep TCU at bay the rest of the opening half, helping organize the CU defense. The Buffs did a good job of keeping TCU to the outside, clogging the middle of the field and blocking any TCU attempt. 

CU came out of the half with a strong push, searching for the equalizer. The Buffs' best chance of the second half came in the 52nd minute. Barton got pushed to the ground from behind, drawing a whistle from the official. Hopcroft and Kayleigh Webb had back-to-back shots off the free-kick, but neither attempt got through the TCU defense. 

Hansen made three of her four saves in the second half, with none bigger than her diving stop in the 56h minute to keep the Buffs within striking distance.

The momentum seemed to favor the Buffs for a majority of the second half. Barton ran down a chance in the 61st minute but was boxed out inside the goal area and was unable to finish off the chance. 

Unfortunately for the Buffs, the momentum was ripped away in the 63rd minute. Collins struck again off a give-and-go in the middle of the field, beating Hansen to the right post to give TCU the two-goal lead.  

CU returns home to face Stony Brook on Sunday. The match time has been moved up from its originally scheduled 1 p.m. start. Kickoff is now set for noon. 

TCU has now outscored opponents 17-1 this season…CU got shutout for the first time since its 1-0 loss to South Alabama in last season's NCAA Tournament… TCU's 22 shots were the most allowed by CU since Arizona's 23 last season (Apr. 9)…20 different Buffs got minutes on Thursday…CU's combined five saves were the most this season…Grusts' appearance in the match is the first time CU has played two keepers in the same regular-season match since Scout Watson took over for Jalen Tompkins at the start of the second half against Stanford on Oct. 21, 2018…Tompkins and Watson split time in nine matches that season.