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The University of Colorado soccer team kicked home a strong message this weekend: they’re starting a new season and leaving their 2010 problems in the past.
The Buffs blanked both Colorado College and Northern Colorado to earn the inaugural Colorado Cup trophy. CU begins 2011 with a 2-0 record, as does Denver, who scored fewer goals than CU in the tournament.
CU head coach Bill Hempen is proud of the work he did to help organize the tournament and in so doing, encouraging young players around the state to play at the collegiate level.
“I’m so happy,” Hempen said in a press release. “It’s been a dream of mine. I couldn’t do it without the coaches of the other teams. It couldn’t have been any better. And obviously with us winning, I’m pretty darn happy.”
Colorado began the tournament with a 5-0 shutout against CC. The Buffs and Tigers hadn’t met since 2006, and CU quickly made up for lost time.
Freshman Carly Bolyard scored off a pass from junior Amy Barczuk just 1:44 into the game.
The Buffs scored again 14 minutes in with a goal from sophomore Hayley Hughes, assisted by Bolyard.
“It was really nerve-racking in the beginning, but I just got over my nerves,” Bolyard said. “All the upperclassmen helped me through it.”
CU goalkeeper Annie Brunner made three saves in the game. Sophomore Ann Stuller (CU’s lone scorer in the Air Force exhibition game), junior Lauren Shaner and freshman Darcy Jerman (assisted by Bianca Jones) scored the final three goals that sealed the deal for the Buffs.
“The team chemistry is completely different than last year,” sophomore Anne Stuller said. “We’re a completely different team. Our goal-scoring problems [from 2010] are hopefully gone, and we’re ready to turn a new leaf.”
2010 CU points leader senior Kate Russell gave Colorado its first goal against UNC four minutes before halftime off a pass from freshman Claire Madden.
Hughes got her second goal of the weekend off a pass from Stuller to give the Buffs a 2-0 lead early into the second half. With her two goals, Hughes is now just one shy of her 2010 total.
Jarmen also got her second goal to give the Buffs the 3-0 win.
“I thought it was a very hard won win,” said Russell. “It feels very good to win because we worked really hard that whole game. I think our team chemistry is just really strong this year.”
Chemistry was the name of the game, as the Buffs finished the tournament with 8 total goals, a huge feat considering CU scored just 24 goals in the 2010 season.
Colorado welcomes Wyoming to Pretnup Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28.