Buffs' Offense Grounds Mavericks
BOULDER— The No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes' offense continued to fire on all cylinders, pouring in another five goals on Sunday. The team's defense did its job as well, holding Omaha off the scoreboard in the 5-0 result.
Colorado (5-0-1) scored four goals in the first half and totaled 11 goals in the two-game homestand, pushing the season total to 26.
Junior Shyra James extended her scoring streak into double digits, marking her 10th straight game with a goal. Junior Civana Kuhlmann contributed a goal and an assist, giving her 13 points this season and 60 in her career. Kayleigh Webb, Hannah Sharts and Jayden Newkirk also got in on the scoring.
"This was a game we had to take care of business in," head coach Danny Sanchez said after the win. "Omaha has some good results against Power 5 teams with Missouri and Oklahoma State. I liked how we started. Once we got that second goal, I thought we really played well. The ball movement was good. We scored some good goals and got everybody a lot of minutes. We know next weekend is going to be a huge challenge on the road with Michigan and Michigan State, but we're excited for the opportunity."
Sophomore Bella Grust got the start in net, making three saves in her first solo shutout of the season. The Buffs now have four shutouts this season and have outscored opponents by 23 goals.
"We're [the defense] fighting like warriors every game to try and keep that shutout," Newkirk explained. "I think that really says a lot about our defense and our mentality to carry this throughout the season as we face tougher opponents, keeping that mentality building and everyone wanting to keep that shutout. It says a lot about our team camaraderie."
Eight players contributed to CU's 15 points. Sunday marked the fourth game this season with the team tallying 10 or more points. The Buffs have now scored five or more goals in four games, adding to the team's record start.
"Like we've talked about, we have good depth in this squad," Sanchez continued. "Everybody's still fighting for starting spots and minutes, especially when you look at [upcoming] games like Michigan and Michigan State. I thought some players really put themselves in a position to make difficult decisions for the coaches and that's all they can do. They [the players] can control what they can control. They can control by contributing and performing when they get the opportunity."
How it Happened
The day got off to a slower start, considering the standard that has been set. CU got flagged for three offside calls in the first 10 minutes, trying to get the offense started.
The Buffs' first shot didn't come until the 16th minute, setting the stage for the flood of offense that would follow.
Webb, who scored her first goal on Thursday, got the party started by burying the ball in the back of the net from 30 yards out in the 18th minute.
James didn't wait long to extend her streak, getting her eighth goal of the season in the 30th minute. She bounced on a shot from Kuhlmann that was blocked and put it past Emma Konsmo for the 2-0 lead.
"It means a lot [to extend the streak]," James noted. "I want to keep the record going and just keep helping my team get goals. That's the main part of soccer, to score and win. I'm glad I can help with that."
Colorado scored a pair off a pair of corner kicks, one from each side, in the 42nd and 44th minutes. Both serves came off the foot of Rachel Rosen, who was able to find Sharts and Newkirk for the headers. The two assists give Rosen a team-leading four on the season.
Newkirk's goal marked the first of her career.
"Our forwards were fighting up there to win us all those set pieces," Newkirk commented. "It happened on the goal right before. Rachel was serving up dimes all game. It felt like it was only a matter of time. I've come close the past few games, so it was really rewarding to finally get one and to look over at the bench and see all my teammates just as excited as I was."
The Buffs held an 11-0 shot advantage at the half, increasing it to 25-4 by the end of the day.
Kuhlmann put the exclamation point on the match, finishing off a quick tick-tack-toe setup inside the goal box. Juliauna Hayward fed the ball to Jenny Beyer, who laid it off to Kuhlmann on the near-side post.
Colorado will hit the road for a pair of Big Ten tests next week, starting at No. 24 Michigan on Thursday. The Buffs will wrap up the trip at Michigan State on Sunday.
Colorado's 26 goals are more than the team has scored in seven previous seasons (season record is 47 in 2018)…James moved into a tie with Anne Stuller for sixth on CU's all-time goal list with 22…Her eight goals this season rank tied with Nikki Marshall (2008) and Anne Stuller (2012) for sixth-most by a junior…James' 16 points are the ninth-most by a junior…Kuhlmann's 1 G, 1 A, day marked her sixth career game with a goal and assist…Rosen's two assists marked her first-career multi-assist game…Webb has started in all 84 games she's played, good for fifth all-time in starts and eighth all-time in games played.