Pair of Penalties Down Buffs
TEMPE, Ariz.— A pair of penalty kick goals proved to be the difference for Arizona State on Thursday, helping the Sun Devils to a 3-2 result over Colorado at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium.
ASU's Nicole Douglas scored her 16th and 17th goal of the season, converting in both halves from the penalty spot. Her kick in the 77th minute was the backbreaker for the Buffs, breaking a 2-2 tie.
"It wasn't the start we wanted [conceding the PK early]," head coach Danny Sanchez said. "Then Gabbi scores a nice goal to get us back in it. I'm a little disappointed in the second goal [allowed] but I was really proud of the effort in the second half. I thought we put a lot of pressure on them and created a lot of good chances.
Colorado (7-7-3, 2-4-3 Pac-12) dropped down 1-0 and 2-1 in the contest but had answers for both deficits. Senior Gabbi Chapa got the Buffs back to even in the 15th minute with an impossible angle goal and it was sophomore Shyra James who tied up the game in the 62nd minute. Their goalkeeper made a couple of really nice saves to keep them in it. We just didn't have enough in the end to get the result we wanted."
Arizona State (9-7-2, 1-6-2 Pac-12) got a goal from Olivia Nguyen sandwiched in between Douglas' two strikes.
CU's Dani Hansen made four saves on the night, while ASU's Julia Ortega stopped seven shots. Both teams finished with 20 shots apiece, with the Buffs holding a 9-7 edge in shots on target.
How it Happen
The Sun Devils struck first in the 7th minute after the Buffs got penalized inside the box, sending Douglas to the penalty spot for the first time.
The Buffs answered back the 15th minute when Chapa bent a ball inside the far post from the right corner.
"We talked about putting stuff in dangerous spots and fortunately it went in," Sanchez continued. "Gabbi will call it a shot some other people might say it's a cross, but it doesn't matter, it went in. We put them under pressure. At the end of the day, the big picture of it was it just wasn't our night for a lot of reasons."
The Buffs almost got a 2-1 lead in the middle of the first frame with Kayleigh Webb taking a hard one-timer from the top of the box. Her shot was knocked aside by Ortega and then ASU went back on the rush with Nguyen capitalizing for the Sun Devils on the opposite end of the pitch.
Colorado trailed at the half for the first time in three matches but came out as the stronger side in the second half.
The Buffs got the first offensive push in the 60th minute with back-to-back shots from Jade Babcock-Chi and Phoenix Miranda. Then James fought off two ASU defenders and fired a shot while falling to the ground, beating Ortega to her left from 18 yards out to tie the game at 2-2.
Then controversy struck.
Chapa got called for a questionable handball inside the box, leading to ASU's second penalty kick of the night. The kick was converted and the Colorado bench got handed a yellow card before play resumed in the 77th minute.
The Buffs continued to battle, hoping to send the game into overtime. James got a prime chance to even the score off a free kick in the 87th minute but the service from Shanade Hopcroft couldn't connect.
The Buffs turn their attention to Arizona on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. MT.
James now leads the Buffs with seven goals this season…She has now scored in back-to-back games and has three goals in the last two matches…Hopcroft picked up an assist on the Chapa goal, continuing to lead the Buffs in points (21)…She is now tied for second in single-season assists (9) with Kathryn Grandinetti (2003)...The loss breaks a three-game unbeaten streak and is CU's first regulation loss since Oct. 7 at USC…the two penalty kicks are the first allowed by CU this season.