Colorado Keeps San Diego at Bay
BOULDER—The goals continued to pour in for the Colorado Buffaloes at Prentup Field on Sunday. The Buffs totaled five goals for the second consecutive match, closing out the opening weekend with a 5-1 win over San Diego.
The win marked No. 114 for head coach Danny Sanchez at CU, tying former head coach Bill Hempen for the most in program history.
"I think it was a great opening weekend," Sanchez commented after the win. "Obviously the two wins, the success of the Soccer Ball last night. A lot of people did a lot of work for that.
"As far as the game today, I thought maybe we're a little fortunate to be up 2-0 at halftime. We had a couple of chances that we buried and they were good goals, but I was really pleased with our second half. I thought we made a lot of adjustments defensively and you could see our depth took over as the game went on. We scored some good goals in the second half."
Four different players found the back of the net for Colorado. Stanford transfer Civana Kuhlmann wasted little time getting to scoring started. She headed home the game's first corner kick, set up by Amaya Gonzalez in the 2nd minute, for the first of two goals on the day.
"I've been thinking about scoring goals alone in my house for 15 months now," Kuhlmann explained. "It means everything honestly, especially in front of my family at home. It really is everything."
Junior Shyra James became the first Buff to score in six consecutive games, notching the eventual game-winner from Lawson Willis' corner serve, in the 32nd minute.
"I think her [James] game has matured," Sanchez added. "I think she's a more consistent player from her freshman year to the end of last year and now. I thought she really started to hit her stride at the end of the last season and that's continued. She's a pure finisher. She knows where to put herself to score. I also think her movement's much better this year. We're looking forward to her continuing to find the net for us."
Kuhlmann gave the Buffs a 3-0 lead with a diving right-footed effort in the 55th minute, beating Sophine Kevorkian to the right post.
"It was almost like it was slow motion," Kuhlmann recalled. "I just knew I had to get good contact on the ball and go to ground to keep it low. It's just awesome to see the handwork paying off for the team. Scoring 10 goals in two games is an amazing start to the season."
The Toreros got on the board in the 56th minute, but that was the extent of the visitor's offense on the afternoon.
Defenders Hannah Sharts and Alyssa Duke tacked on the final two goals for the Buffs in the 58th and 76th minutes, respectively. Sharts also had an assist on Kuhlmann's second goal, marking the first multi-point game of her career.
The Buffs scored on four of the team's five corner attempts on Sunday, giving CU six set-piece goals in its first two games.
"Set pieces are the byproduct of getting the ball down there," Sanchez continued. "I thought, especially in the second half, we did a much better job of keeping the ball and finding each other. Our movement was much better. It was a little stagnant early. Credit to San Diego. I thought they possessed the ball well in the first half and it might have been unfortunate for them to be down 2-0, but in the second half we were very good."
Colorado's repeat five-goal performance marks the first time the Buffs have scored five or more goals in consecutive contests. CU last had a combined 10 goals in two games in the 2018 season, scoring six against Missouri and four against UTSA.
Colorado will next be in action on Friday, Aug. 26, hosting Valparaiso at Prentup Field (4 p.m. MT).
Notes: Colorado evened the all-time series against San Diego (1-1-0)…James moved into a tie with Ashlie Mihalcin and Tatum Barton for eighth all-time with 17 career goals…Nine different players accounted for 16 points, following a 13-point performance in Thursday's 5-0 win over Weber State.