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Buffs Key in on Important Weekend

Oct 5, 2022

BOULDER – Three matches into the Pac-12 Conference season and the Colorado Buffaloes head into Thursday's matchup against Oregon State in search of its first league win.

Colorado (6-3-3, 0-2-1) had a pair of controversial results against Arizona State and Washington State to open Pac-12 play, earning just one point in the draw at No. 15 WSU. The Buffs then closed the first stretch of conference play with a 4-1 loss at Washington.

CU returns home as one of three Pac-12 teams still looking for its first conference win. And while it isn't quite 'make or break' for the Buffs at the moment, the team knows they need to get results sooner rather than later.

"We all know how tough the Pac-12 is top to bottom," head coach Danny Sanchez commented. "We're a little disappointed not to get more results in our first three matches, but we have two opportunities this weekend against two teams that are kind of in the same boat as us and are going to be desperate for results. I expect us to come out and play some of our best soccer this weekend."

The Buffs, who have scored in all 12 matches this season, has seen a dip in the team's scoring since the start of the conference season. CU is being outscored 8-4 in Pac-12 play but is still outscoring opponents this season by a 34-12 margin.

"At Washington State, we didn't create a lot [of chances], but I thought at Washington we actually created some good chances," Sanchez added. "You're not going to get the [same] amount of chances in Pac-12 play, but we know we're very confident in our personnel to create and score more going forward. We have to keep working at it."

Sanchez pointed to a few breakdowns that led to Washington's 3-0 lead and forced the Buffs to chase the lead for much of the afternoon.

"[Defensively], we have to get back to our principles," Sanchez explained. We have to be tight defensively and limit opportunities. Goals are going to happen, but we have to limit opportunities. Last weekend, we just gave away too many opportunities and we didn't get punished on Thursday, but we got punished on Sunday."

Civana Kuhlmann and Kayleigh Webb both notched three points in the Washington trip, assisting on each other's goals. Freshman Emerson Layne also picked up her first point of the Pac-12 season with an assist at UW. Colorado has 15 players with at least one point this season, but only five players have found the scoresheet early in the Pac-12 season.

"We can't expect one player to carry us on either side of the ball," Sanchez continued. "It has to be a collective effort and I'm talking every player on the roster. That's been the challenge this week and hopefully, they respond."

Oregon State (4-5-2, 0-3-0) is also in search of its first Pac-12 win, dropping matches against Washington State, USC and No. 1 UCLA. The Beavers have been outscored 11-1 in their first three conference matches.

Kickoff on Thursday is set for 3 p.m. MT. Justin Adams will be on the call for the Pac-12 Network. Thursday is also the team's Mental Health Awareness game. The team will wear green accessories throughout the game.       

The weekend will continue with the team's Soctober Fest against Oregon on Sunday. Ralphie is set to run before kickoff and there is discounted beer and a gold t-shirt giveaway while supplies last.