After losing in an embarrassing 4-1 effort to the University of Denver on Friday night at the DU Invitational, head coach Danny Sanchez and the Colorado women’s soccer team looked to rebound off their loss. Sunday they did just that as they came out strong playing a high-pressure style against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, earning a 2-1 victory.
“We played well today,” Sanchez said. “We created more chances today than we did all season [25 shots on Sunday]. I’m very pleased with how we played, it may be unfortunate that we couldn’t get more [goals], but at the end of the day we got the win and we played well.”
In the eighth minute, junior goalkeeper Annie Brunner sent off a goal kick that was flicked on by freshman midfielder Olivia Pappalardo right to junior Hayley Hughes who finished her breakaway slipping the ball past Cincinnati’s goalkeeper. It was just the start the Buffs were looking for after their loss to DU on Friday.
“I got a great ball through, and I think the defender tried to put it down, but that didn’t really work for her,” said Hayley Hughes after the match. “I just took advantage of it and went with it, and put it away.”
Senior captain Amy Barczuk started Sunday’s match at center defense. A different spot than in Friday’s first half massacre against DU where the Buffs went down 3-0. When she was moved to defense in the second half Friday, the half went 1-1. Her defensive play on Sunday proved to be an x factor in keeping the Buffs competitive with Cincinnati.
“Today we played all over the field, so there’s no reason to change it [Barczuk’s position],” Barczuk said. “It’s a game-to-game thing and I’m happy to play wherever.”
The Buffs couldn’t hold the lead for long and in the 40th minute Bearcat’s sophomore Megan Cravenor volleyed the ball off a far-post corner kick from 10 yards out past Annie Brunner. The goal was the second goal against the Buffs this weekend off of a set play, which could be a problem going into the rigorous Pac-12 season later this month.
“Definitely as we go into conference play those [set plays] will become the difference in games,” Barczuk said. “When you play Stanford you can’t get scored on off of set pieces. I think we’ll definitely work on that and get better in the future.”
In the 75th minute, the Buffs earned a goal, their second of the weekend, when an in-swinging cross went off a Cincinnati defender’s head and into the net, putting the Buffs up 2-1.
“We don’t care how the ball gets in the goal,” Sanchez said. “They can kick it, you can kick it, I can kick it as long as it makes it in there.”
The Buffs were able to hold up the lead and the game ended with the final score of 2-1. After the DU Invitational officially ended, senior Amy Barczuk and junior Hayley Hughes were nominated for the All-Tournament squad.
Now, the Buffs prepare to finish up their non-conference season as they travel to Wyoming Friday Sep. 14. Home play resumes at Prentup Field in Boulder Sep. 16 against Air Force when the Buffs will encourage fans to ride bicycles to the field with a “Pedal to Prentup” marketing campaign. The game starts at 1 p.m. and the first 100 fans to ride their bikes to the field will receive a free CU t-shirt.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Joe Wirth at Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.