The Colorado women’s soccer team continued their Pac-12 struggle as they went up against one of the top programs in the nation in UCLA Friday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Although the Buffs were out played by the Bruins, it was still a well fought match from Colorado and it was another unlucky loss that the Buffs played hard in and could have won, which has come to be a residual pattern for the 2012 season.
Friday’s loss and many other Pac-12 losses this season have been unlucky for the Buffaloes, but it’s not like it’s written in the stars for these girls not to earn a victory. Friday’s game, like so many others including the 2-1 loss to No. 2 Stanford, were lost because of consequential mistakes the Buffs made defensively.
In the 42nd minute, UCLA’s Lucretia Lee capitalized off a corner kick by Sarah Killion to take a 1-0 lead before the break. Killion, a 5’8″ sophomore midfielder from Indiana, helped control the midfield and possession throughout the second half and was able to earn the game-winning goal in the 70th minute off of a penalty kick from a Colorado handball in the penalty box.
“We defended very well,” head coach Danny Sanchez said to the sports information department after the match. “We gave up a soft goal on a corner kick in the first half, but we didn’t hang our heads. On that penalty kick, the ball hopped up on Heather [Ward], and there’s not much we could have done … It just wasn’t our night.”
On a good note for Colorado women’s soccer, sophomore defender Bianca Jones scored her first career goal against UCLA in the 85th minute when she ripped a rocketing shot from over 40 yards out.
“It was a free kick from distance,” Sanchez said to the SID. “She overlapped Quinn [Krier] and banged one in … It gave us momentum in last the five minutes, and in the last seconds, but we just didn’t have enough to get over that hump. UCLA’s a very, very talented team that plays good soccer. They have dangerous players who we defended well. They just have so many weapons. Any little thing can be hard to come back from.”
And that’s just how soccer is played. The best teams will be able to capitalize off of weaker team’s mistakes and UCLA showed on Friday exactly how that kind of high-pressure offense creates chances out of nothing, and sometimes can result in goals.
As for the Buffs, they’re still just continually unlucky. They’ve played against some of the best the nation has to offer this season, and they played extremely competitive bringing these games into the final minutes, but it’s just never enough. Until the Buffs eliminate the small errors that have been costing the team matches, they won’t win, but there’s no doubt they’ll compete.
“We have no room for error, but I think we’ve shown we can play with anybody,” said Sanchez to the SID. “We just haven’t been getting the results. If we play with the same passion and confidence that we did tonight, I think we can do something.”
The Buffs continue their road trip against Southern California on Sunday at 2 p.m. MT.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Joseph Wirth at firstname.lastname@example.org