QUICKLY: The Buffs return to Colorado for the DU Invitational. CU begins the weekend against host Denver on Friday at 7 p.m. They conclude the Invitational on Sunday with their first meeting against Cincinnati. Colorado is off to its best start in program history, remaining undefeated through five games, and tallying a 3-0-2 record. Both the Pioneers and Bearcats enter the weekend with 3-1-1 records.
COLORADO VS. DENVER: CU holds an 8-6-1 lead against the Pioneers. The Buffs are 2-3-1 at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. Colorado has dropped the teams' last two meetings, with their last victory being a 1-0 home win in 2009.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS: After competing in two tournaments with Denver, the Buffs finally get the chance to play the Pioneers. DU returns nine starters from last season's 16-5-0 squad, including 2010 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Kaitlin Bast. Bast leads Denver with two goals this season. Last week the Pioneers edged out St. Louis 1-0 in the final two minutes off an unassisted goal by senior Katy Van Lieshout.
COLORADO VS. CINCINATTI: This is the first meeting between the Buffaloes and the Bearcats.
SCOUTING THE BEARCATS: The Bearcats were handed their first loss of the season Sunday against Nebraska. The 2-1 loss dropped their record to 3-1-1. Freshman Laura Rose has scored four of the Bearcats' nine goals this season. Cinci's defense has been strong, with sophomore goalkeeper Kristina Utley saving the ball 26 times.
LAST WEEK: The Buffs had their second tie of the season to remain undefeated through their first five games, a program first. CU got down 2-0 in the first 15 minutes against Northwestern, but Amy Barczuk and Madison Krauser tied the game in the second half. The score would remain 2-2 through two overtimes.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: This will be the 15th meeting for the Buffs and Pioneers since CU made women's soccer a varsity program in 1996. Eleven of the matches have been decided by one goal or less, including seven of the last eight. Colorado and Denver combine for 30 players from the Centennial State, with many of the now-rivals having played on high school and club squads together. The Buffs have four in-state foes on their schedule this season, and are off to a 1-0-1 start against Northern Colorado and Colorado College. CU takes on Air Force on Sunday, Sept. 16.
KRAUSER GETS IT CRACKING: Freshman Madison Krauser scored her first goal as a Buffalo on Sunday at Northwestern to tie the game at 2-2, and help the Buffs remain undefeated. Her impressive effort earned her CU Athlete of the Week honors. Just minutes after senior captain Amy Barczuk put the Buffs on the board in the second half, the Irvine, Calif. native scored from 12 yards back into the far post to tie the game. Krauser is the only freshman to have started every game. She contributed her first assist in the opener of the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic against LIU Brooklyn. Krauser helped Anne Stuller avoid traffic to score the final goal in the 2-0 win.
CU KNOWS NO DEFEAT: This has already been a record-breaking season for the Buffs. For the first time in program history, the CU soccer team is undefeated through its first five games. The Buffs have a 3-0-2 record, boasting three shutouts.
AY, AY CAPTAIN: Senior captain Amy Barczuk has been a true leader for the Buffs this season. Barczuk put Colorado on the board at Northwestern, helping keep CU undefeated. Barczuk headed the ball off a corner kick by Quinn Krier in the 51st minute. In her career, Barczuk has attempted 103 shots, just three short of cracking CU's top 10 list. Allsion Kidd (2004-07) and Meghan Swanzy (1998-2002) currently hold down the 10th spot with 106 shots.
STULLER LEADING THE PAC: Stuller scored all four goals for the Buffs during the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic, and has scored six of the Buffs' nine goals in the season. She currently leads the Pac-12 with six goals and 12 points. She already ranks sixth on CU's list of most goals by a junior, passing Gianna DeSaverio (2007) and Elizabeth Swan (1996), who both had five. Stuller joins Nikki Marshall (2006) and Katie Griffin (2005) to become only the third player in CU history to have three multiple goal games in a single season.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Two Buffaloes have been named Pac-12 Conference Players of the Week this season. Goalkeeper Annie Brunner started the season off hot, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for her impressive outing in the second annual Colorado Cup. Brunner shut out Northern Colorado and Colorado College in the Cup. She also shut out LIU Brooklyn during the Omni Hotels Colorado Women's Soccer Classic. It was the first time in CU history the Buffs started their season with three shutouts and the first time since 2008 the team had three shutouts in a row. Anne Stuller was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and the Soccer News Net Women's Player of the Week for her outstanding performance in the Omni Hotels Classic. She also made the Soccer America Women's Team of the Week. Stuller had two two goal games against LIU Brooklyn and Wright State.
WINNING: With one more win this season, the Buffs will tie last season's total. In 2011, the CU went 4-13-2 overall, 1-9-1 in its first season in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffs are off to a stellar start in the 2012 season, tallying a 3-0-2 record. They remain undefeated through their first five games, a first in program history.
PAC-12 COACHES POLL: Colorado was picked to finish 11th in this year's Pac-12 Coaches Poll. Stanford, the reigning NCAA Champion, received nine out of 11 possible first-place votes. UCLA, Cal, Oregon State and Washington rounded out the top five. Arizona State and USC followed, with Utah and Washington State tied for eighth. Oregon and Arizona were chosen as 10th and 12th.
COMING UP: Friday, Sept. 14 will be a homecoming of sorts for head coach Danny Sanchez and assistants Jason Green and Don Trentham as CU heads to Wyoming. In his four year tenure at Wyoming, Sanchez led the Cowgirls to a 36-34-11 record. The Buffs return to Prentup Field on Sunday, Sept. 16 when they take on Air Force. The game starts at 1:00 p.m., and the Buffs are encouraging fans to ride their bicycles to the field. The first 100 fans who "Pedal to Prentup" will receive a FREE CU t-shirt.