Controversial Finish Surrounds Pac-12 Opener
BOULDER — A controversial goal with three seconds to go in the match handed Arizona State a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes at Prentup Field on Friday.
All square at 2-2 in the final minute, ASU's Eva van Deursen sent a desperation shot toward the top left corner of the CU net. Colorado keeper Dani Hansen met the ball at the crossbar and batted it forward, seemingly keeping it from crossing the goal line. The officials ruled the shot a goal at the 89:57 mark and despite a lively protest from the CU bench, the crew ruled they were unable to review the call in question.
"We came out too slow," Sanchez noted. "We didn't play with any urgency until we were down 2-0. Then we played how we're capable of playing. We scored two great goals and we're pushing for the game-winner. That's where the game was lost. We just didn't play with enough urgency."
Colorado (6-2-2, 0-1-0) fought back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to even the game with 20 minutes to play. Juliauna Hayward and Civana Kuhlmann scored two minutes apart to get the Buffs back to even. Hansen made three saves, including a diving denial in the 83rd minute to keep the game tied.
Arizona State (5-0-2, 1-0-0) got on the board first with Alexia Delgado in the first half. van Deursen scored two in the second half for the Sun Devils.
How it Happened
The Buffs found themselves down 1-0 after Delgado converted on a free kick in the 30th minute. The goal marked the first time CU had trailed at home all season and just the second goal against the Buffs at Prentup.
Colorado didn't register a shot on goal in the first half until the final minute when Jenny Beyer sent a bouncer in on Pauline Nelles, going into the break trailing for just the second time this season.
van Deursen's first goal of the game came in the 59th minute, giving ASU the 2-0 advantage and things looked grim for the Buffs.
But Colorado found the back of the net on its next two shots, erasing any kind of momentum the Sun Devils were grasping.
CU's comeback got started in the 70th minute with Hayward weaving through the ASU defense and firing a rocket of a ball off the right post and into the net. Not two minutes later it was Kuhlmann racing down a serve from Phoenix Miranda and slotting a shot from the right side to tie the game at 2-2.
"We have a lot of fight in us," Kuhlmann said. "We can't ever count us out of the game even if it's in the second half and we're two goals down. It gives us confidence going forward. If we don't dig ourselves into those holes, we can go up 2-0 first before we even get into the situation of being down. I'm really proud of the mentality we showed today. It didn't go this way at Michigan State, and we had a much different response today. That's promising because every game is going to be had in the Pac-12."
van Deursen's second of the day closed the game in controversy.
"It's the worst kind of situation," Kuhlmann added. "You fight to get in the game, and I definitely felt like it could have gone the other way. We made a few mistakes to lead up to the [third] goal, but for it to be something out of our control to call the game is defeating at the moment. However, we were encouraged by our swing in the second half. The way we got back into it and these things [calls] tend to even out. So, one time it'll go our way."
Colorado will hit the road next week, traveling to Washington State (Sept. 28) and Washington (Oct. 2).
Notes: The Buffs a now 5-7-2 all-time against ASU…Kuhlmann's goal was her seventh of the season…she missed the last game against Denver…Kuhlmann now has 18 points this season, the most since 22 at Stanford in 2017…Hayward's goal was her second of the season…CU was still without Jade Babcock-Chi (missing the last four games)...Jenny Beyer was issued a red card in the 90th minute amid the controversial goal.