Coming off of a five-game winless streak and a shocking loss to No. 2 Stanford last Sunday, the Colorado women’s soccer team (6-6-3) looked to get their first win of the 2012 Pac-12 season on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon matchup at Prentup Field against the Oregon State Beavers (10-4-1). Saturday’s game concluded the Buffs five game homestand that ended up being all losses as the Buffs were shutout by the Beavers 2-0.
With their recent struggles in the Pac-12 season, the Buffs knew that this game was important in vying for an NCAA tournament bid. It wasn’t only just for their overall record, but for the team’s pride as well.
“We were all expecting to win coming out here,” said Annie Brunner, CU goalkeeper. “There were a couple unlucky goals and it’s pretty devastating.”
Even though the team’s morale was damaged after Saturday’s matchup, there were some positives to take from the game, one of which was the Buffs effort, according to head coach Danny Sanchez.
“Can’t fault the effort, can’t fault the fight,” Sanchez said after the game. “But big picture is that in these Pac-12 games, we’re not creating enough.”
There were few scoring opportunities in Saturday’s game with the Buffs only putting two shots on target for the entire game and the Beavers only having three shots on target, two of which were goals.
In the 20th minute the first goal of the game came when Oregon State’s Jessica Niewoehner placed a perfect ball over the Colorado defense from midfield that found OSU forward Megan Miller on the sprint who took the ball down perfectly in front of her and took her next touch to blast it past CU keeper Annie Brunner’s near post.
“That girl [Megan Miller] had a fantastic shot,” Brunner said. “Upper-90 after a really good touch to settle it.”
As the first half continued, the rain started to fall harder, making the conditions on the field slippery and making every player’s first touch just a little bit more cautious. With the field being so wet it demanded both teams to pass directly to teammate’s feet because through balls were almost out of the question due to the slick roll of the ball.
“It [the rainy conditions] always makes it more difficult [first touch wise],” said sophomore defender Bianca Jones. “I think playing in rain is really fun, but today we slipped a lot. Both teams were slipping.”
Senior captain Amy Barczuk moved into the center of midfield to give the Buffs a little bit more of an offensive presence in their effort to equalize, but nothing was going as they found it difficult to even challenge Oregon State keeper freshman Sammy Jo Prudhomme.
It took until the final seconds of the first half for the Buffs to record their first shot on target when senior Shaye Marshall ripped a shot from over 25 yards out that ricocheted off of Prudhomme and fell right to Anne Stuller who was offsides.
In the 64th minute OSU’s Jenna Richardson skipped the ball past Annie Brunner on a low, hard-driven shot to the left post that was deflected by a Beaver forward.
If you look back on the tape at the bottom of the article you will notice that this goal could be contested, due to the fact that the Oregon State forward deflected the ball from an offsides position, making the difference in the play possibly illegally, and ultimately solidifying the final result of the match in OSU’s favor.
The Buffs have now played six winless contests out of the eleven Pac-12 games of this season. The second half of Pac-12 play for the Buffs includes a two-weekend long road trip to California and Arizona. Although it may seem like the Buffs have little to play for, coach Sanchez is more concerned about his senior class having good experiences in their last games as Buffaloes.
“We’ve talked about it as a staff and these seniors are busting their butt and their doing what we’re asking and we want them to have some success,” Sanchez said. “The big picture is we want them to have some moments.”
This year’s senior class features captain Amy Barczuk, Erin Bricker, Quinn Krier, Shaye Marshall, Kayla Millar and Lauren Shaner.
The Buffs now will prepare to hit the road for their first time since Sept. 21 to begin a four game road trip. CU heads to Los Angeles to take on No. 3 UCLA on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. MST and USC on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Joe Wirth at Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.