The University of Colorado soccer team triumphed over the Austin Peay Governors 2-0 Thursday, marking their fifth victory of the season. But a 70-minute delay due to lightning-caused the Buffs a rocky start.
Going through a normal warmup routine only for Colorado to be stalled for over an hour had consequences for the Buffs. Within the first 35 minutes, both of Colorado’s goal shots were vetoed by Governor goalie Mary Parker Powell.
“It’s a dangerous game you know with the delay,” said head coach Danny Sanchez. “You’d like to come out well but we didn’t. Give credit to Austin Peay. I have a lot of respect for their coach. I knew they’d be ready to play. They are a good team.”
Colorado’s best opportunity during the first half came at the 39-minute mark when freshman midfielder Jade Babcock-Chi missed the net high.
Fortunately for Colorado, the Governors struggled to delegate the ball as well. CU led in shots 9-4 and shots on goal 3-0 after 45 minutes.
At halftime, Sanchez’s message to the team was simple, “we have to score a goal.”
Heading into the second half, Colorado believed they had secured a goal early, only for it to be called back due to an offside penalty.
The Governors’ defense was taxing the Buffaloes, to say the least. CU followed up with two more shots on goal by senior forward Tatum Barton and senior midfielder Taylor Kornieck but still couldn’t get on the board.
The Buffs finally found some luck in the 64th minute following a corner throw. Freshman midfielder Roo Yarnell-Williams found herself with an open shot and took it. Aggressiveness often pays off and the Buffs were rewarded with their first goal.
Yarnell-Williams, who started the first four games of the season, found herself coming off the bench on Thursday. Sanchez’s tactic of rotating players against the winless Governors appeared to pay off.
“When (Yarnell-Williams) did get in she stayed positive and it was a goal-scorers finish, kind of bouncing on the loose ball in the box,” Sanchez said. “I thought she did well today. Hopefully, she will continue to develop along with the other attacking players.”
The freshman standout already has four points in her young career but admits she just wants to win games.
“I just think that we wanted to win and knew that we had to win today,” Yarnell-Williams said. “There was the delay today, so we were a little bit more hesitant coming out. This was a big game, this affects us getting into the NCAA Tournament.”
In the 87th minute as the game neared retirement, the Governors refunded the Buffs with an own goal. The ball bounced off an Austin Peay player and into the Buffs’ net to give CU a comfortable 2-0 lead. Although the Governors managed just two shots on goal, the score marked senior goalkeeper Jalen “J.J.” Tompkins’ 20th shutout in her college career.
“It’s great anytime you can go to a game and not get scored on,” Tompkins said. “You’re happy and it’s good camaraderie for the team.”
For now, the Buffs are enjoying their five-game win streak but have a tough matchup against Baylor on Sunday.
“(It feels) amazing,” Yarnell-Williams said. “You always are playing hard teams, but it’s not over. We play Baylor on Sunday so that is going to be difficult. They made it to the Elite Eight last year. We just have to come out with the mentality that not everything is going to be easy, and I think we know that.”
CU will look to continue their winning streak when they wrap up their homestand against Baylor on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST at Prentup Field.
Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Jack Carlough at firstname.lastname@example.org