Colorado Set for Two Matches in SoCal
LOS ANGELES—Colorado soccer takes to the road this for a pair of matches in the City of Angeles. The Buffaloes will open with No. 11 Southern California (5 p.m. MT) and then face No. 3 UCLA (1 p.m. MT). Both matches will be on the Pac-12 Networks.
CU (6-4-1, 1-1-1 Pac-12) split last weekend, earning a Thursday win against Washington before dropping the weekend finale to Washington State on Sunday. The split gave the Buffs four points through the first three Pac-12 matches of the season. Colorado currently is situated in the middle of the pack with plenty of soccer left to play.
"The great thing with the Pac-12 is it always gives you more opportunities to get results," head coach Danny Sanchez explained. "We're excited to get out there [Los Angeles]."
The Buffs pulled out the victory in thrilling fashion, upsetting the No. 14 Trojans, last season. CU fought back from a 2-0 deficit, getting goals from Libby Geraghty, Shanade Hopcroft and Shyra James to win 3-2 in double overtime. The win snapped a five-game losing streak to the Trojans and also marked the 100th for Coach Sanchez at CU.
The stakes are similar this time around. The unranked Buffs are looking to score an upset against the No. 11 Trojans. USC (8-2-0) sits tied atop the Pac-12 standings with Washington State as the only two teams to be a perfect 3-0-0 in conference. USC has allowed just three goals in conference play and nine total goals this season.
"These are great opportunities," Sanchez added. "USC lost its first two but has won eight in a row, pretty comfortably. They have probably the best forward in the country in Penelope Hocking. They are a dynamic, well-coached team."
Sunday's match doesn't get any easier. The Buffs are 0-for its last-4 against the Bruins, getting their last win back in 2016. CU is looking for its first win Westwood, going 0-for-6 in previous visits. UCLA (10-0-1, 2-0-1 Pac-12) is second in the Pac-12 with eight shutouts this season, posting a 0.44 goals-against average.
"I think the pressure might have gotten to us a little bit on Sunday," Sanchez noted. "I think that these are games that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We're going to go into it loose and excited."
Part of that excitement is the fact that this weekend will feel like home to many of the Buffs. CU has 13 players from California, many of whom are within driving distance to LA.