Skip to main content

Flurry of Goals Marked the Start of the 2022 Season

Aug 18, 2022

BOULDER—Colorado junior Shyra James scored two goals, helping propel the Buffaloes to a 5-0 win over Weber State to start the 2022 season on Thursday.

The Buffs used a dominant second half of play to put distance between themselves and the Wildcats, scoring four goals in the final 45 minutes. 25 different Buffs were able to get into the match, including eight newcomers making their Colorado debuts.

"It was great to get everyone good minutes," head coach Danny Sanchez explained. "I thought all the tempo really picked up when we subbed, especially in the second half. I was really pleased with the group as a whole and we're looking forward to San Diego on Sunday."

Junior Rachel Rosen got the onslaught started, notching CU's first goal in the 39th minute. She sent a service from a corner kick that slipped inside the far post untouched for her third career goal, helping the Buffs to a 1-0 lead at the half.

The floodgates opened for the Buffs in the second half.

James scored her two goals in a span of three minutes, netting her first of the day in the 52nd minute off a centering pass from Jade Babcock-Chi. Moments later she gave CU a 3-0 lead, finishing with a header off a corner serve from Amaya Gonzalez.

The two goals extended James' scoring streak from the end of last season. James has now scored in five consecutive games, matching volunteer assistant Nikki Malone's streak of five consecutive games in the 2006 season. The goals were also the 15th and 16th of her career, moving forward into the top 10 on CU's all-time scoring list.

"I've been working really hard this spring and summer to really get in my fitness," James noted. "We've worked on playing as a team and building a culture. I'm excited for what we can do the rest of this season."

The final two goals came off the feet of a pair of freshmen. Juliauna Hayward and Emerson Layne put the icing on the cake with their first collegiate tallies. Hayward slotted one past Mekell Moss in the 65th minute, while Layne buried a late penalty kick in the 89th minute.

"It was amazing," Hayward said her goal. "Honestly, there were two that I missed earlier that I could have made. I was just like 'I'm going to get a goal this half. I feel it.' I came in really confident. The first half was a little off for me with first-game jitters. In the second half I was like 'I got this.' It's just like any other game and I needed to be confident. That goal just really was a high note for me."

The Buffs' five-goal output marked the most goals by a CU team since the team's 6-0 win over Northern Colorado in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. It was also the most goals scored in an opener since putting in five against Colorado College to open the 2011 season.

"I thought the first half we were running out of ideas," Sanchez added. "It was a little stagnant and I think in the second half, once the game got stretched, our movement got better. The cohesion of the attack is always going to take a little bit longer. It's great to get this game under our belt. But to be fair, we scored five goals. Five good goals. So, it was a good start to the season."

Senior Dani Hansen and sophomore Bella Grust combined for the shutout. Hansen made four saves, before giving way to Grust in the 64th minute.

The Buffs will now look forward to the first annual Soccer Ball on Saturday. The event will help raise funds for the team with a sit-down dinner, silent auction and a paddle raise.

Colorado will return to action on Sunday, hosting San Diego at 1 p.m. The game is Chips' Kids Club Day. There will be inflatables, face painting, yard games and touch a truck. 

Notes: Thursday's win was No. 113 for Sanchez at CU. He's now one shy of tying Bill Hempen for most by a CU soccer coach…The Buffs are now 9-0-2 in openers under Coach Sanchez and improved to 16-6-5 all-time…James became the first Buff to score multiple goals in a season-opener since Anne Stuller scored two in a 3-0 win over Northern Colorado to open the 2012 season…CU recorded 13 points on Thursday, the most since 13 against Cal State Fullerton last season (Sept. 9)…Thursday marked the first time CU had two true freshmen score in an opener (Brie Hooks scored two goals as a freshman in the 2013 opener).