The No. 22 Colorado Buffaloes (14-4, 8-1 Pac-12) shut out No. 9 UCLA (12-4, 6-2 Pac-12) at Prentup Field on Thursday. Colorado’s 1-0 victory puts it in prime position for a Pac-12 title, as the Buffs kept pace with the Stanford Cardinal, which took down Arizona 4-0 on Thursday.
Both teams sit atop the Pac-12 Conference with an 8-1 mark with two games remaining in the regular season.
The game was largely a stalemate, as senior forward Emily Bruder’s goal in the 49th minute was the lone score of the game. Bruder had an effective outing; she tied for the team lead with four shots and two shots on goal. Senior forward Danica Evans shared the same stat line, with the exception of the goal. Evans did nab the assist which set up Bruder’s score.
The game started off slow, as both teams struggled to establish an offensive presence in the first few minutes.
Bruder got the wheels turning though, as she repeatedly hustled up the left side of the field into Bruins territory, but the Buffaloes were unable to capitalize on the ensuing possessions.
Freshman phenom Taylor Kornieck had two shots in the game. In the 21st minute, she had a relatively open shot on the net, but the ball sailed high. As the Pac-12’s leading goal scorer and point leader, the Bruins defense had Kornieck on lockdown throughout the contest, holding her scoreless despite her best effort and a few solid chances.
Redshirt freshmen goaltender Jalen Tompkins had a heroic last ten minutes. With time running out, the Bruins mounted a barrage of shots on a continuous offensive possession. Tompkins made three key saves to keep Colorado’s lead intact. She had four saves on the day.
“They came out kind of slow,” Tompkins said. “I knew as soon as we scored they were going to come out really hard because they’re a good team. We just pushed people back to get that win. We had great defense out there. Everyone played really well [and] stepped up.”
The Bruins outshot Colorado 13-12 in the game, and had an impressive 10 shots in the second half of play.
“I thought we had some good saves [and] some great pressure,” head coach Danny Gonzalez said. “[UCLA] is a very good team; they’re very dynamic … It was a true team effort and [I] couldn’t be more proud.”
The Buffaloes quest for a Pac-12 title continues. Standing in their way are the no. 4 Southern California Trojans, whom Colorado hosts this Sunday. The game starts at 12 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo