Soccer Celebrates 2021 Season
BOULDER – The Colorado soccer team put a bow on top of the 2021 season on Friday. The Buffaloes hosted their annual end of the year banquet, handing out team awards and celebrating the success of the past season.
Colorado finished 8-7-4 in 2021 and a 54 RPI, putting them just on the outside of the NCAA Tournament field. The season got out to a 2-0 start when CU hosted No. 1 Florida State in front of 2,536 fans at Prentup Field. Allie Palangi scored the first goal allowed by FSU on the season in a closely contested 2-1 loss. The Buffs also scored their first-ever result against Stanford in 2021, playing to a 2-2 draw in October.
2021 Team Awards
MVP – Shanade Hopcroft
Offensive MVP – Shyra James
Defensive MVP – Hannah Sharts
Herbst Academic Award – Sofia Weiner
Strength & Conditioning Award – Hailey Stodden
Newcomer of the Year – Phoenix Miranda
Departing senior Shanade Hopcroft was awarded the team's MVP for the season. She led the Buffs with 22 points, totaling six goals and 10 assists. Her 10 assists tied Taylor Kornieck (2018) for the most by a Buff in a single season. She finished the season leading the Pac-12 in assists and ranked second in the conference with 0.53 assists per game.
Hopcroft forced herself into the national spotlight with her bicycle kick goal against Stanford, making it to No. 2 on SportsCenter's Top-10 Plays. She was voted a Second Team All-Pac-12 selection and was a Third Team United Soccer Coaches All-Pacific Region honoree.
James, the team's offensive MVP, led the Buffs in goals for the second consecutive season. The sophomore was ninth in the Pac-12 with nine goals this season. She finished the season with a four-game scoring streak, becoming the first Buff to score a goal in four consecutive matches since Nikki Marshall in 2007. James picked up three game-winning goals, scoring two of them in overtimes against Colorado College and Oregon State. Her 20 total points tied Marshall's 2007 effort for second-most by a CU sophomore. The nine goals also matched Marshall for the most in a sophomore season at CU.
Sharts, the team's defensive MVP, led the Buffaloes in minutes played this season, totaling 1707. The senior defender started all 19 games for the Buffs and played full time in 14 matches. She was third on the team with eight points, totaling two goals and four assists. Defensively, Sharts continued to be a clog in the middle of the field, helping the Buffs to four shutout victories this season.
Weiner, who graduated last spring and is pursuing her master's degree, earned the team's Herbst Academic Award. She concluded her CU playing career in 2021, playing in all 19 matches. Weiner started seven contests and picked up an assist against USC. In four seasons, Weiner started 34 of her 63 career matches, notching two assists as a defender.
Stodden appeared in 18 matches for the Buffs in 2021, coming over from Utah. She started the final two games of the season at Arizona and Utah. The defender played 746 minutes and got her lone assist in CU's 2-0 win over Stoney Brook.
Miranda broke onto the scene in 2021, appearing in 16 matches. The defender started three contests. She assisted on CU's lone goal in the season finale at Utah, helping CU earn the 1-1 draw. Miranda led all CU freshmen in playing time with 635 minutes.