Buffs Open Pac-12 Play With Draw
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The Colorado soccer team opened up Pac-12 play with a 2-2 draw against Cal at Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Buffs (5-3-1, 0-0-1 Pac-12) scored both of their goals in the opening ten minutes of the match off strikes from Shanade Hopcroft and Allie Palangi. Cal responded with two second-half goals to level things up and the score remained tied following two ten-minute overtime periods.
"It's a dream start," head coach Danny Sanchez said after the game. "But like I've always said, once you get two early goals, there is a tendency to relax a little bit. I thought the rest of the first half we played well. We talked about getting through those first 10-15 minutes of the second half and unfortunately, we didn't."
The Buffs had their chances in the overtime period for a go-ahead goal. CU had five shots and three corners in that time, but could not capitalize to get the win.
"I was really pleased with the second overtime," Sanchez explained. "Getting three corner kicks and really putting pressure on their goalkeeper - it just didn't fall our way. But like I told this team, to go on the road against Cal and get a result is good and now we turn our focus to the Washington schools next week."
Sydney Collins assisted both goals for the Golden Bears and Karlie Lema and Abby Borchers were the finishers. Angelina Anderson finished with three saves. Cal now stands at 4-1-3 overall and 0-0-1 in Pac-12 play.
How It Happened
Colorado got the scoring going early. Hopcroft was able to break the scoreless tie in the eighth minute after slotting a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal after James flicked a header to her off a throw-in from the right sideline by Hannah Sharts.
Less than two minutes later, the Buffs struck again, this time off a set piece from near midfield. Sophomore back Lawson Willis sent in a ball that clinked off the crossbar and went straight to the feet of Palangi whose shot took a slight deflection before bouncing into the bottom right corner.
Colorado held a 2-0 lead into the intermission but the Bears quickly got a goal back in the opening minutes of the second half. After controlling possession to start the period, the Collins found Lema across the six-yard box who got a touch on the ball and found the back of the net to tighten CU's lead to just 2-1.
Cal eventually found the equalizer in the 77th minute after Collins took the ball down the right flank and sent in a cross that Borchers got on the end of.
But after 90 minutes, neither team could gain an edge and the match headed to overtime knotted up at 2-2.
The Buffs played well in the first overtime period, with the best opportunity coming from Tessa Barton, who turned a defender and then whipped in a left-footed shot from the right side of the box that forced Cals' Anderson to make a diving save.
In the second overtime period, Colorado looked threatening once again and earned back-to-back corners. On the second, James looked like she may have found a game-winner, but her header went just wide to the left.
At the end of the two overtime sessions, the game ended in a draw.
"We just didn't have that cutting edge at the end to put that game away," Sanchez said. "But credit to Cal, they didn't hang their heads, they kept battling and they earned a point out of it."
The Colorado soccer team will return to Prentup Field Thursday for a 3 p.m. MT matchup with Washington (Pac-12 Network).
Notes: Hopcroft now has six points (2 goals, 2 assists )in the last six games...Colorado is now 4-1-2 all-time on the road against Cal...Holly Hunter played her first minutes since returning to the team...Hopcroft adds to her team lead in points (10)...With points today Palangi (goal) and James (assist) are tied for second with eight points...Colorado is 4-4-3 in Pac-12 openers.