Buffs Blank the Ducks
BOULDER – Sunday afternoon got started with a thunderous romp by Ralphie and closed with a 1-0 victory over Oregon, as the Colorado Buffaloes completed the weekend sweep.
Colorado (8-3-3, 2-2-1 Pac-12) controlled the afternoon at Prentup Field, using a late penalty kick goal to secure the win over the Ducks. The Buffaloes totaled 22 shots with seven landing on target. CU's defense limited the Ducks to four shots on the afternoon and did not concede a shot on goal.
"I don't know how many games we've had here at CU when the opponent doesn't have any shots on goal," head coach Danny Sanchez commented after the win. "I thought that our back four – then we moved Lawson [Willis] – those five players were dynamite today. Dani [Hansen] did what she had to, but the backfield played really played well and limited their opportunities."
Civana Kuhlmann notched her 10th goal of the season after the Buffs were awarded a handball in the penalty area in the 74th minute. Kuhlmann had seven shots while Shyra James added four shots and two near-goal opportunities.
"It's probably the best we've played going forward even though we only got one goal," Sanchez continued. "That's a top-end goalkeeper [Oregon's Leah Freeman]. It's going to take something special to beat her. I thought our movement was excellent and we created a lot of good chances. It's a fair result for us and a good momentum builder as we get ready for Arizona next Friday."
Oregon's Lean Freeman turned away three shots in the first half, including a scramble right off the goal line to keep the game tied at 0-0 after the first 45 minutes. The Buffs had a goal taken off the board in the 62nd minute, getting called for a foul behind the play of the team's sixth corner kick of the game.
"I think we probably created more chances today than we did on Thursday, but I am more pleased with getting the shutout," Sanchez added. "Once we got the goal in the 74th minute, really killing the game off, we didn't let Oregon have a lot of good looks – or any looks really."
How it happened
The Buffs forced Freeman into action early, with shots on net from Kayleigh Webb and Civana Kuhlmann inside the first 10 minutes. Colorado recorded the first five shots of the afternoon, but Oregon almost snuck one past Dani Hansen on its first attempt, drilling the right post in the 18th minute.
Colorado's best chance of the first half came in the 28the minute. Kuhlmann bicycled the ball off the end line, centering it to the front of the net. A scramble ensued and the ball found the foot of James, who fired a shot from eight yards out through traffic. Freeman was able to stave off the chance and the Ducks cleared the ball out of harm's way.
CU opened the second half with the same tenacity. The Buffs fired off the first five shots of the period and had chances from Emerson Layne and James, with James finding the net before having the goal waved off by officials in the 61st minute.
Webb, who started her CU-record 92nd match, got pulled down outside the box in the 73rd minute in the lead-up to the goal. Kuhlmann took the direct kick from 19 yards out, drawing a handball inside the box and getting the penalty kick. Kuhlmann took the kick with ease, converting her third penalty of the season.
"Today was a must-win," Kuhlmann said. "We've been trying to every game as a playoff game. That's how crucial every win is. We did what we needed to do today. I thought we didn't just get a win but we really put on a great performance."
Colorado will head to Tucson, Ariz., for a meeting with the Wildcats next Friday, Oct. 14 (8 p.m. MT).
Notes: Kuhlmann became CU's second double-figure goal-scorer this season, joining James (11)…It's the first time CU has had two players with 10+ goals since the 2018 season (Jorian Baucom 12, Tatum Barton 11)…Kuhlmann moved into a tie with Ashlie Mihalcin (2004) and Katie Griffin (2003) for eight on the single-season scoring list with 10 goals…Her 26 points put her in a four-way tie for the sixth most in a season….Colorado's 114 points this season is good for fourth all-time…CU's 39 goals this season are now ranked fifth most in program history…The crowd of 1,520 was the 19th-highest attended match in CU history…Sunday was the first time CU held an opponent without a shot on goal since Northern Colorado in the 2020 season (Feb. 11, 2021).