Buffs Stumble at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. – It was a tale of two halves for Colorado against Purdue on Sunday. It was the Buffaloes who scored first but it was the Boilermakers who scored most, overtaking CU 3-1 at Folk Field.
Junior Tessa Barton, who celebrated a birthday on Sunday, scored the Buffs' lone goal. Junior Dani Hansen made three saves in the losing effort as Colorado dropped to 4-3-0 on the season.
"Overall, it was a disappointing result," head coach Danny Sanchez said postgame. "Purdue is a good team, playing well at home. However, we didn't do enough, especially at the beginning of the second half to deserve a result. It was a great start for us. It was a little disappointing to give up the equalizer, but we still felt good going into the second half."
CU was the stronger team in the first 45 minutes, outshooting Purdue 5-2 on net. Purdue goalkeeper Marisa Bova had four saves in the first frame to keep Purdue in the hunt. A bad bounce off Jayden Newkirk was the only reason the game was knotted at one at the half.
Purdue (5-1-2) started fast in the second half, recording the first six shots. The Boilermakers, who are unbeaten at home this season, finished the day outshooting CU 16-14 and totaled four corner attempts to the Buffs' three. Bova kept her cool after allowing the goal, finishing with seven saves on the afternoon.
"We just couldn't find our rhythm in the second half," Sanchez added. "We give up the [second] goal and as we're still feeling sorry for ourselves, we give up another goal. That basically put the game away. I'm proud of how we battled in the end. It's just difficult to come back from down two games in the second half."
How It Happened
The match got off to a timid start with both teams being unfamiliar with each other. The Buffs and Boilermakers both just tried to establish early control in the opening 15 minutes.
It would be Colorado who would establish that control first. The Buffs had chances on two early corner kicks and got help from Purdue's seven first-half foul calls. Hannah Sharts almost got CU on the board in the 17th minute with a header to the far post of the net, off a corner serve from Shanade Hopcroft. The ball found Kayleigh Webb seconds later as she put a solid shot on net.
With momentum shifting towards the Buffs, it was a heads-up play from Barton in the 18th minute that got the visitors on the board. Bova rolled a ball out to her defender atop the 18-yard box. The ball was played up and then slowly sent back towards a Purdue defender. Barton intercepted the pass and slotted it past the helpless Bova for the 1-0 advantage.
With Colorado firmly in control, it was a bad bounce that got the Boilermakers back to even in the 31st minute. Emily Mathews got in close and put a shot in from the left corner of the goal area. The shot was directed towards the far post, but Newkirk in an attempt to block the shot had it pop straight up and in the net, catching Hansen off guard.
Colorado did a good job of minimizing Purdue's Sarah Griffith, keeping the Boilermaker's leading scorer at bay. Griffith did help jumpstart Purdue in the second half. She had back-to-back shots in the 48th minute, forcing Hansen to make a save and then getting an attempt on the rebound that was blocked away by Lawson Willis.
Ally Mussallem got the game-winner in the 53rd minute, Gracie Dunaway crossed a dangerous ball into the box and Hansen came off her line in an attempt to intercept the service but missed. That left the goal wide open for Mussallem who punched it from just off the goal line.
Barton had what might have been the best look at tying the game up in the 59th minute. She dribbled through the Purdue defense and drew Bova out of the net, going one-on-one. Bova slid low and blocked the shot by Barton out of harm's way.
Purdue tacked on in the 62nd minute. Sydney Boudreau was left all alone in the middle of the six-yard line and tapped the ball past Hansen off a centering pass from the left side of the box.
"At the end of the day Purdue put themselves in dangerous spots to get goals," Sanchez concluded. "We just didn't do enough in the second half."
The Buffs conclude non-conference play next week on the road. CU will have all week to prepare for instate rival Denver, kicking off at 1 p.m. next Sunday.
Notes: Barton became CU's ninth different goal scorer this season…She now has three points this season…CU is now 5-2-0 when Barton scores…CU's three corner attempts were the second-fewest this season (1, FSU)…The Buffs are now 0-3-0 all-time against Purdue…Colorado falls to 0-3-0 against Power 5 opponents this season.