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The first Pac-12 soccer game at the University of Colorado turned into a thriller Friday afternoon as the Buffaloes went to overtime against the Arizona Wildcats. After 110 minutes of play, no team came out on top finishing in a 2-2 tie.
The Buffs came out strong with junior Amy Barczuk establishing a strong presence up top controlling the flow of the game, while completing just about every pass she gave and creating multiple chances at goal.
As the game started to settle, so did the Buffs offense. Again, like many of the games in the past few weeks, the Buffaloes had trouble getting in behind the Wildcats’ defense and settled for outside shots. They were unable to connect in the final third of the field.
The Buffs came back at the end of the first half with a few threatening chances from four of their six first half corner kicks. As time expired, there was a controversial call when Amy Barczuk had a goal called back for a push she made in the box.
Both teams came out strong at the start of the second half, but the Buffs looked like a completely different team. Instead of progressing up the field through the middle, they came striking up the flanks at high speeds continuously whipping dangerous balls into Arizona’s penalty area.
It didn’t take long for the Buffs to tie the game. In the 49th minute, Anne Stuller put the Buffs back in the game when she finished off a rebound from a low cross that Arizona had no chance of stopping.
For the next 30 minutes, the Buffs continued to knock on Arizona’s door. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that senior Kate Russell was fouled in the box, setting up an Amy Barczuk penalty kick.
Barczuk lined up for her third penalty kick goal of the season. She shot, low and strong towards the left post, as Arizona’s goalkeeper Ashley Jett made an incredible save, but she left the ball on a platter for Stuller’s second goal of the game.
The lead wouldn’t last, though. In the 85th minute, Arizona’s junior midfielder Jessica Culver finished off a scrappy play in the Colorado penalty box.
The Buffs had a few chances towards the end of regulation, but couldn’t find the net. The Buffaloes first ever Pac-12 home game went into double overtime.
Overtime belonged to the Buffaloes, out-shooting the Wildcats 5 to 1. With all the chances they had, the Buffs couldn’t get the golden goal to win and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“It’s shocking,” said head coach Bill Hempen after the game. “I’d like to say we’re getting somewhere, but I don’t know where. Having said that, they played their tails off, unfortunately, we come out with another tie against a team I think we probably should have defeated.”
The Buffaloes’ record now goes to 3-5-2, while Arizona is still yet to win this year with a record of 0-8-2. Colorado’s next game is at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Arizona State at Prentup Field, where the Buffs will still look for their first Pac-12 win of the year.
“I’ll talk to Utah later tonight to have an idea about what to expect from Arizona State,” Hempen said. “We’ll see, and we’ll adjust accordingly.”
Contact CU Independent Reporter Joseph Wirth at Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.