COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two overtimes were not enough for the University of Colorado or Colorado College to score in the final game of the Colorado Cup. Sunday's game ended in a 0-0 draw, but a 3-1 overall goal differential helped the Buffs take home the trophy for the second consecutive year.
"At the end of the day, we played 200 minutes of soccer this weekend without allowing a goal," head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We're the Cup holders. We scored the goals on Friday (at UNC) that we needed to. We didn't play for a draw, but thirty seconds remaining in double overtime we were playing for the draw. I think one of our goals this year was to retain the Cup and we did. These are four very good teams and we did it on the road this year, which is more difficult."
The game was dominated by defense. Despite taking 12 shots, including two in the second overtime, the Tigers couldn't reach the back of the net. Senior Annie Brunner came up big for the Buffs, saving the ball five times. Her biggest save of the night came in the final minute, helping the game remain scoreless.
"I always want to have a shutout," Brunner said about her second shutout of the season. "It's a pride thing. I think as a goalie, it's always awesome to get as many shutouts in a season as possible. Starting off with a couple is very good."
The draw helped Brunner to sole position of second place on CU's all-time ties list. Her six ties put her five behind leader Kirstin Radlinski (2005-08).
Freshman Maddie Krauser had the Colorado's only shot on goal, a touch in the second half.
Eight minutes into the game, Colorado looked primed to score after a free kick by Lizzy Herzl flew towards the net and Hayley Hughes headed it in backwards. Unfortunately for the Buffs, an offside call dismissed the goal.
Bianca Jones and captain Amy Barczuk made a dynamic duo, pressing CC away from the net.
"I think we have pretty good chemistry back there," Barczuk said of her teammates in the backfield. "Don (Trentham), our assistant coach has been working a lot with defensive shape. With him working along with us constantly, I think we're definitely developing a good chemistry in the back. We're starting to kind of figure out where each other are talking to them, just kind of learning each other's tendencies."
In the last 10 minutes before the break, CC took three corner kicks, but weren't able to turn any into goals.
The intensity ballooned in the final minutes before the break. Anne Stuller hustled down the field to shoot one high. Minutes later, the Tigers had one of their biggest possessions of the game, as strong passing led to a shot on goal by midfielder Hannah Peterson. Brunner got the save off the top of her fingertips, taking the teams 0-0 into halftime.
The Tigers had a dominating presence in the second half, commanding possession of the ball. CU came close off a couple free kicks from Quinn Krier, but couldn't reach the net.
CC took four more corner kicks, but was unsuccessful in netting any. Brunner's speed in the net helped her swipe some opportunities for the Tigers. CC came close with eight minutes remaining, hitting the post, and again shortly after a corner, when a great side save foiled the Tigers once more.
In the final minutes of regulation, the Buffs made some noise near the net, increasing their offensive presence. But the scoreboard remained at goose eggs, sending the game to overtime.
Both teams came out hungry in overtime. Shaye Marshall took a solid shot in the 95th minute that hit the top of the post. The ball stayed with the Buffs, but they still couldn't score. Stuller and CC defender Kecia Morway got tangled, causing the clock to stop and Morway to momentarily leave the game.
The Tigers got a few more looks, but the Buffs' defense held strong and the game went to double overtime. Tension was high in the final 10 minutes. CC took two shots, including one on goal in the final minute by midfielder Madison Whitehead, but Brunner was there to end the game in a draw.
Join the CU Soccer team for their home opening weekend at Prentup Field - Friday, August 24 & Sunday, August 26
Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with new Head Coach Danny Sanchez and the CU Soccer team as the Buffs take on LIU in their home opener on Friday, August 24th at 4:00 pm as part of the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic. The first 500 fans will receive a FREE CU Soccer t-shirt. The CU Soccer team concludes the Omni Classic on Sunday, August 26 against Wright State at 1:30 pm. The first 200 fans will receive a FREE CU Mini Ball courtesy of Omni Hotels. Remember, parking and admission are free for all CU Soccer home games. Don't miss any of the action this weekend as the CU Soccer team kicks off the first Buffs athletic events of the season!