Buffs Blank Denver
BOULDER — Colorado soccer got back to its winning ways, taking its 11th straight over in-state rival Denver on Sunday. The Buffaloes bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 2-0 blanking of the Pioneers, closing out non-conference play.
The Buffs (6-1-2) got goals from Kayleigh Webb in the first half and Shyra James in the second to secure the shutout. Dani Hansen made two saves to register her first clean sheet of the season.
"Credit to Denver," head coach Danny Sanchez said following the win. "I thought they played very well. We came out slow and didn't create a lot in the beginning. Kayleigh Webb got us the goal [to get going] and Shyra [James] scored on a hustle play. It's a win against our rival, but we need to play a lot better."
Colorado got the victory, but Denver was the aggressor for extended portions of the contest. The Pioneers outshot the Buffs 12-7, and out-earned CU 10-2 in corner kicks.
"I thought we did an ok job of managing the game, but right there at the end we gave Denver a really good chance," Sanchez added. "Dani made a great save to keep the shut out. We need to be better."
The Buffs were without Civana Kuhlmann for the first time this season, turning to freshman Emerson Layne to fill in for Kuhlmann. Jade Babcock-Chi missed her third consecutive match.
"We moved some people around and gave other people some opportunities," Sanchez continued. "I thought for the most part it was good. At the end of the day, we got the win against a rival, but we still have a lot of work to do."
How it Happened
Denver came out on the front foot and pressed the Buffs early. DU had two shots and three corner attempts before CU picked up its first shot of the day in the 23rd minute.
Shots were 4-2 in favor of DU before CU turned the tide with Webb's goal in the 34th minute. Alyssa Duke served a free kick from just inside the midfield line and Webb was able to deflect it past DU keeper Nerea Arrazola for the eventual game-winner.
"I started making that front post run at Michigan State," Webb noted. "We thought it was a good idea [today] to get the goalkeeper out. Alyssa hit a great ball and I just went to go flick it on. I didn't realize it was a goal, but I'm going to say I meant to do it. It was a great opportunity and I took it."
The 1-0 lead held into the second half when James picked up her 10th goal of the season. Arrazola had the ball played back to her by a DU defender and James gave chase, leaping and blocking the clear attempt and redirecting the ball back into the net.
Hansen's lone save of the second half came in the 90th minute.
"We need to have a higher intensity going into Pac-12 play," Webb continued. "We need to come out and control the ball more. We need to take our chances in front of the goal. Today was a good game to get ready for conference play, but it shows that we have a lot of work to do."
Colorado will open Pac-12 play at Prentup Field next week, welcoming Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 23 (4 p.m. MT).
Notes: Colorado improves to 19-8-1 all-time against Denver…The Buffs have now matched last season's scoring efforts (31 goals)…Webb and James have goals in two consecutive games…James has scored in 12 of her last 13 matches…Duke's assist was the first of her career…Saturday's win was the 20th of Hansen's career (19 at CU)…CU now has 13 goals on set pieces.