Positives Aplenty Against BYU
BOULDER—Colorado soccer hosted national runner-up BYU at Prentup Field this past Saturday. The Cougars got the 3-2 decision in the spring tune-up, but the Buffaloes have plenty to build off of the remainder of the spring.
"We really appreciate BYU coming down [to play us]," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "It was a beautiful day for soccer. I thought you could see the quality of BYU, but I thought for the first time playing 11 aside out here at Prentup – with our numbers, I was pleased. I thought there were some really good individual efforts. Obviously, disappointed to give up the goal basically at the death, but credit to them. It was a great run from the outside back and a nice finish. We'll take the positives from it as we build towards the rest of the spring."
The Cougars got the first tally just before the end of the first half to take a 1-0 lead after the first 45 minutes.
CU got back to even in the 54th minute, thanks to a BYU own goal. The Cougars struck again two minutes later to get regain the one-goal advantage.
The Buffs spent a majority of the remaining minutes pressing the Cougars in their zone. CU's efforts paid off in the 88th minute, with Shyra James burring a feed from Kayleigh Webb to tie the game back up at 2.
BYU answered right back in the 89th minute, leaving CU very little time to answer.
"What I liked was when we were down a goal in the second half, we were really pressing with a lot of energy," Sanchez noted. "We're creating a lot of chances, half chances to be fair, but still creating chances. We have to play with that urgency throughout the time. Like I said, disappointed to give up the goal at the end, but if you're going to be honest with yourself it's probably a fair result."
Colorado got a lot of opportunities to run over some set pieces in the second half. Last season, Shanade Hopcroft took a majority of the corner kicks. With her departure players like Jenny Beyer, Lawson Willis and Allie Palangi are getting opportunities to serve up set plays.
"We don't spend any time in the spring on set pieces," Sanchez explained. "I thought that we did a really good job of getting in the final third and winning corner kicks and winning some fouls in the final third that were dangerous. We didn't get a lot from the run of play but I thought that the game-tying goal from Kayleigh to Shyra was just an effort goal. If you're playing with effort, you give yourself a chance."
Sophomore Bella Grust once again started in net for the Buffs. Senior Dani Hansen came in in relief at the start of the second half.
"I thought Bella did well in the first half," Sanchez added. "To be fair on the first goal I think it was sort of a miss-hit cross. I thought she showed good composure and red the game well. Then Dani dealt with what she needed to in the second half. Both goals she didn't have a chance on really. I was pleased with the goalkeepers and how they played."
The Buffs will take to the road this week and head to Nebraska on Saturday, before returning home to play Wyoming on Apr. 16.