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Colorado Tricks Arizona, 1-0

Oct 31, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz.— Sophomore Shyra James scored her eighth goal of the season, boosting Colorado over Arizona 1-0 on Halloween Sunday. 

Colorado (8-7-3, 3-4-3 Pac-12) broke through in the second half, getting the goal in the 60th minute. The Buffs controlled a majority of the second half, taking seven of its eight corner kicks in the final 45 minutes. 

Arizona (4-13-0, 1-9-0 Pac-12) finished with the slight edge in shots, 7-6. Dani Hansen made all saves on all four shots on target, completing her 9th career shutout. 

"I thought we started well," head coach Danny Sanchez explained. "I thought the first half we had a lot of pressure. No clear looks, but a lot of pressure. We didn't test their goalkeeper [early]. With this heat, we knew the game was going to slow down. I thought we controlled the play in the second half. Credit to Arizona, coming off their win on Thursday. I thought the last 10 minutes really pushed us, but we defended really well to get the shutout."

Senior Shanade Hopcroft picked up the second assist on the CU goal, giving her 10 on the season. She's now moved into a tie with Taylor Kornieck (2018) for all-time single-season assists. Sophomore Lawson Willis picked up the primary assist, her first point of the season.

How it Happen
Arizona spent the opening minutes in the Buffs' zone, but couldn't generate a shot against the CU defense. 

CU quickly countered, getting shots from Gabbi Chapa and Hannah Sharts. CU's best chance of the half came in the 38th minute when Hopcroft served a ball into the box, looking for Kayleigh Webb. Arizona's keeper challenged the ball taking it off the top of Webb's head, erasing the CU chance. 

Both sides went into the half with three shots and one on target.

The Buffs conceded an early corner chance to Arizona to start the second half but picked up back-to-back corners in the 50th and 51st minute to begin to put UofA on its heels. 

James' goal came in the final seconds of the 60th minute with the finish coming right at the goal line. Hopcroft made a run down the middle of the field, feeding Willis on the left side of the box. She perfectly slipped the ball to James who slide and directed it into the net. 

"I think we had them on their heels for most of the first half," Willis explained. "We needed to get that goal in the second [half] to close it out. I've been working on that with [associate head coach] Jason [Green] a lot. It was just a hard run and Shyra was making her run. I just drove it across so we could get that first goal."

Hansen wasn't tested all that much on the afternoon, but made two saves in the second half to complete the win. 

"She controlled her net," Sanchez added. "She dealt with the stuff off the line and her distribution was good. It was a good performance from her. I thought all the backs played well today. Lawson had the assist. Hailey Stodden got her first start. Haileigh Adams was good off the bench. Alyssa [Duke] and Jayden [Newkirk} complementing Hannah Sharts – but were both rock-solid in the back."

Up Next 
The Buffs now have one regular-season game left on the docket. Colorado will take on the Utah next Friday, Nov. 5 (3 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks) in Salt Lake City. 

"It's one more game," Sanchez continued. "It's another opportunity to play another good Pac-12 team. We can control what we can control and we need to win. Our RPI is good. We need to win and see what happens around the country, but I'm really pleased with the effort today."

James increased her team lead in goals (8th)this season…She has now scored in three consecutive games, becoming the first Buff since Jorian Baucom scores in three straight (Missouri, UTSA, Iowa State) in 2018…James now has four goals in the last three matches…Hopcroft still leads the team in points (22)…She is now tied with Taylor Kornieck (2018) with 10 assists in a single season...Willis now has seven career assists in her first two seasons.