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Colorado women’s soccer (6-7-1, 2-3-1 Big 12) travel to Oklahoma on Thursday to take on the No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowgirls (12-1-1, 5-0 Big 12) before heading to Norman, Okla., to take on the Oklahoma Sooners (8-5-1, 3-2 Big 12) on Sunday.
“Both teams are good at attacking,” said senior defender Kym Lowry. “It’s going to be a challenge to absorb them, defend them, and attack when we can.”
Attacking has been a problem for the Buffs in recent weeks, who just broke a four game scoreless streak Sunday with a 3-1 win over Iowa State.
Looking back, a lack of responsibility was the one of the main causes for the goal drought.
“[The players on the field] were expecting the person next to them to get the goal,” said junior midfielder Kate Russell. “We weren’t taking the responsibility on ourselves as much as we could have, and should have, in wanting to be the main difference in the game. I’m hoping we have realized that we do need to shoulder a little more responsibility when it comes to scoring and finishing our opportunities.”
With Sunday’s win, Colorado had a better mindset going into practice this week, said Head Coach Bill Hempen.
“Anytime you win on a Sunday, it make the whole week better,” Hempen said. “You have five days to think ‘Hey, we won,’ and feel good about yourselves.”
Hempen’s players will take their new found momentum to Stillwater, where they will take on No. 5 Oklahoma State. Along with the challenge of taking on a ranked opponent, there is added pressure as the Buffs will be participating in their first nationally televised game.
Despite the cameras, Colorado still knows there is a job to be done.
“We take each day as it comes, but as a whole we need to do well in these next for games to get to the Big 12 [tournament],” Russell said.
Colorado is 9-3-3 overall against the Cowgirls, and have split the last 6 games played in Stillwater. However, the last time Colorado was away at Oklahoma State, they were beaten 2-1.
Oklahoma State junior forward Krista Lopez is second in goals scored in Big 12 conference play with five goals, and sophomore goalkeeper Adriana Franch leads the Big 12 in shutouts, with three and save percentage.
Three days after Colorado plays Oklahoma State, they will travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.
Hempen knows his player will not be distracted for this game, even after the big time Oklahoma State game.
“I don’t even think [Oklahoma] is on their mind right now,” Hempen said. “Right now we have to take care of business from one game to the next, it’s not like we can afford a whole lot of mistakes.”
Colorado will look to break Oklahoma’s two game winning streak Sunday, and extend its own five game winning streak over the Sooners.
Oklahoma senior forward Whitney Palmer leads the Sooners with six goals, followed by sophomore forward Caitlin Mooney with five.
After the games in Oklahoma, the Buffs will return for their final home stand. They will take Kansas on Oct. 25 and Nebraska Oct. 29 at Prentup Field.
Colorado is in crunch time now, and will need to give every bit of effort in order to have success.
“You get one more percent effort going forward, or one more percent concentration, and good things will happen,” Hempen said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org.