No. 19 Buffs Ready for Big Weekend in Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes invade Big Ten Country with a marquee matchup against the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday (5 p.m. MT/B1G+).
The Buffs (5-0-1) roll into Ann Arbor, leading the nation in assists (24), goals (26) and points (76). Individually, Shyra James has continued her torrid start to the season. She extended her goal-scoring streak to a nation-leading 10 games. James is also tied for the NCAA lead in goals (8) and points (16).
The road trip is CU's first real extended time away from Prentup Field this season. The Buffs earned a 2-2 draw at No. 9 BYU in their first road test, but the team was back in Colorado after less than 20 hours on the road. This trip opens at UM and then will close on Sunday, at Michigan State (11 a.m. MT/B1G+).
"When you go on the road things are more difficult," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "I thought for the most part we handled the adversity well on the BYU trip and got a result against a very good team. We're going to use the same mentality this weekend with a Michigan team that went to the [NCAA] quarterfinals last year and a Michigan State team that is off to a great start to its season."
The Buffs' 26 goals are already more than the team has scored in nine previous seasons. Colorado hopes to keep the offense on a roll but knows that tougher times are ahead.
"I think we're going to have to create more chances earlier in the game," Sanchez explained. "We know we're not going to get as many chances as we've been getting. We have to be more efficient with the chances we get. But we have to create more early and put more pressure on teams earlier in the game."
Colorado was outshot 31-6 at BYU, with the Cougars controlling a large portion of the possession. The Buffs know another six-shot performance will not get the job done this weekend.
"We're going to have to play better," Sanchez added. "We were able to gut out a result at BYU, which was great. We came back from being down 1-0 and 2-1, however, we're going to have to play better this weekend if we expect to get results on the road."
CU has averaged 21. 3 shots per game this season and is coming off of a weekend that saw 63 shots fired off. Michigan State and Michigan are first and third in the Big Ten in shots per game, respectively.
Thursday will be the first meeting on the pitch between the Buffs and Wolverines.