While the first snow of the season fell in Boulder, the University of Colorado women’s soccer team fought for their season against the No. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Buffs fell short on the road, falling 1-0 on a penalty kick after putting up a strong offensive effort.
The Buffs had a tall order in attempting to upset the Gamecocks who improved to 20-1-1 after Thursday night’s match. Colorado finished their season with an overall record of 15-6-1 and an 8-2-1 record in the Pac-12.
Colorado attempted to set the record straight early with a powerful offensive initiative. Senior forward Emily Bruder took the first shot of the game in the first half-minute of play, but the Gamecocks saved the shot.
The initial attempt to control the offense was soon overpowered by South Carolina. The Buffs’ defense was forced to take action shortly after Bruder’s shot.
The Gamecocks fired off a shot at sophomore goalie Jalen Tompkins that flew wide in the tenth minute of play. Colorado retaliated with a shot from senior forward Danica Evans that also flew wide of the South Carolina goal.
The Buffs’ defense was put on edge for a solid two minutes of play. With 29 minutes remaining in the half, the CU defense helped save a header from finding its way into the goal after a Gamecocks’ corner kick.
In the 17th minute of play, South Carolina took another shot at the Colorado goal. After initially being blocked by a CU defender, Tompkins came in for the save.
Throughout the rest of the first, the Buffs battled back and forth with the Gamecocks.
CU star and freshman midfielder Taylor Kornieck, and sophomore midfielder Sarah Kinzner both managed shots on goal, but Kornieck’s ball flew high and Kinzner’s ball was saved.
Evans recorded a second shot on goal in the 32nd minute of play, but the ball was topped by the South Carolina goalie. Colorado successfully kept the game scoreless going into the half against a high-powered Gamecocks offense. Tompkins finished the half with four saves, and the Buffs managed three shots on goal.
Colorado had a strong showing in the start of the second. The Buffs prevented the Gamecocks from getting any shots on Tompkins early on.
A Buffalo corner kick almost put the Buffs on top, however, Kornieck’s shot off the corner kick was blocked by the South Carolina defense with 34 minutes left to play.
CU struggled to take advantage of the opportunities given to them at the goal. Shots from Bruder and Evans were unable to find their way into the goal.
The only goal of the game came in the 74th minute of play when South Carolina scored on a penalty kick. With just over 15 minutes left to play, the Buffs struggled to tie the match. Colorado lost to the Gamecocks 0-1 on the road in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Bruder finished out the game with three shots on goal and Evans and Kinzner each had one a piece. The Buffs finished with nine shots, and Tompkins recorded four saves for Colorado. CU also received two yellow cards in the match, given to senior midfielder Mikaela Kraus and Joss Orejel.
The Gamecocks recorded just six shots on goal against the Buffs’ defense and Tompkins, a major accomplishment against the No. 12 scoring offense in the country.
Colorado would have played BYU on Nov. 19 if they had upset the Gamecocks.
Contact CU Independent Assistant Sports Editor Olivia Butrymovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.