Options Growing Aplenty for Sanchez, Buffs
BOULDER – Colorado hosts Cal State Fullerton on Thursday (4 p.m.), in its last home match of the non-conference season. The Buffs will play its next three after the Titans on the road, including the start of the Pac-12 season.
Colorado (3-2-0) has been able to outscore opponents 7-4 this season with all four goals against coming against No. 1 Florida State and No. 6 TCU. The +3 in goals is a number that only figures to increase with the amount of emerging talent on the Buffs' roster.
So far this season, Colorado's offense has gotten points from 12 different players. That number matches all of last season's contributors in the shortened 18-game season. Sophomore Shyra James leads the team in points (6) and goals (3) as she did in 2020.
"We have really had a lot of players contribute to our attack this fall," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "We are pleased to have different options and are still searching for the best combinations. The competition has been fantastic and will only help us as we move forward."
Jayden Newkirk, Rachel Rosen, Ellen Jones and Hannah Duguid each recorded their first career points in the early portion of this season. While newcomer Hailey Stodden, who totaled seven points in two seasons at Utah, recorded her first-career point as a Buff in CU's 2-0 win over Stony Brook. Duguid and Allie Palangi are first-time goal scorers this season. Jade Babcock-Chi would have joined that list but her goal against Colorado State got wiped off the slate in the "no contest."
Last season saw seven different Buffs account for 17 CU's 18 goals (one own goal against DU). Through five games this season, CU has five different goal scorers, with James being the only player with multiple tallies. 14 different Buffs have attempted shots this season, with Palangi leading the way with 10. Junior Tessa Barton has been knocking on the doorstep in the last few matches, looking more like her 2019 self that scored five goals and was a Pac-12 All-Freshman.
As different players are thrown into the mix, one thing has remained consistent. Colorado is going to be dangerous off its set pieces. CU has three goals off corner kicks this season and four total off set plays. Senior Hannah Sharts is a threat every time she's in the box. She scored her first of the season against Stony Brook, after totaling four goals last season. The Buffs finished with nine set-piece goals last spring.
Cal State Fullerton (0-5-0) enters Thursday being outscored 10-3 this season. The Titans have lost their last two matches by a 2-1 result, both on the road, at Texas Tech and UC Irvine. Fullerton's goalkeeper Noa Schumacher is second in the Big West (45th NCAA) with her 6.0 saves per game. She's had to be on her toes this season, making 24 saves on 39 shots on goal.
Brad Thompson will have the call on Pac-12 Insider. You can find Pac-12 Insider on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Redbox and Vizio among other on-demand options.