Los Angeles - The
University of Colorado soccer team was in familiar territory as Sunday's game against
Southern California went into a second overtime. But on this day, the Buffaloes
got to experience a new sensation, a win in the Pac-12 Conference for the first
time this season. The Buffs headed into overtime play for the sixth time in
2012 to claim the 1-0 win over the Trojans.
"We've been so close in a lot of situations," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "To go on the road against a very aggressive team and to win in overtime just kind of validates all the hard work they've done."
Neither team could get a shot off in the first 10 minutes of extra play, but senior captain Amy Barczuk helped the Buffs to their first overtime goal in the fifth minute of double overtime.
Hayley Hughes had a short throw-in to Anne Stuller who set up the play. Stuller avoided two USC defenders, turned and crossed to the Buffs in front of the net. Barczuk got the ball and slid left past the defense to net the goal and grab the road win.
"Anne Stuller had a nice turn and sent the ball across to Amy (Barczuk)," Sanchez said. "She did a great job of shielding the defenders ... It was a very good goal and a good exclamation point for how we performed today, and really the whole weekend."
Colorado improves to 7-7-3 overall, 1-6-1 Pac-12 with the win. Southern California upset Utah on Friday, but falls to 5-8-3, 2-4-2 in the loss to the Buffaloes.
A pair of Buffs also climbed the record books during the weekend. Goalkeeper Annie Brunner claimed her seventh shutout of the season and the 14th of her career. She grabbed five saves against USC to move her season total to 58. She now holds both the 11th and 10th spot (2010) on CU's season saves list. Brunner also moved up to fifth for CU with 159 career saves.
Stuller had an outstanding game as well, taking five shots, four of which were on goal. Stuller jumps three spots to sixth place on CU's season list with 34 shots on goal. She also holds down seventh place with 67 shots attempted this season. Stuller improved in the career record book as well, claiming eighth place with 63 shots on goal.
The Buffs and Trojans played a very deliberate first half. Both teams took just three shots a piece, and CU took four corners compared to USC's one.
USC's Hayley Boysen took the first shot of the game in the 15th minute, hitting one wide off a high hit corner kick. The Buffs countered in the 18th minute. After a pair of corners by Shaye Marshall, Barczuk headed the ball from the far post, but Caroline Stanley grabbed the save.
Stuller continued to show her striking strengths in this game, taking several free kicks in the first half. In the 24th minute, she forcefully hit one wide from the right edge of the box.
Thirty minutes in, both teams picked up the pace, though the Buffs and Trojans worked to limit the other's looks on goal. USC sent one wide at the half hour mark, and CU responded in a major way three minutes later. Stuller took another free kick, this time with a better placement of just right of the middle from about 30 yards back. She struck the ball high past two defenders that Stanley narrowly punched it away by the crossbar.
Southern California worked a great running game, but had difficulty getting anything beyond the Colorado defense. With 13 seconds remaining in the half, USC controlled the ball, but rushed the shot, sending one well over the net. The Buffs and Trojans headed to the break in a scoreless tie.
After having zero shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, USC came out heated from the opening minute of the second. The Trojans outshot the Buffs nine to seven in the second half, but neither team was able to score.
Elizabeth Eddy and Megan Borman both sent shots at the keeper in the first 32 seconds, but Brunner was ready for both saves. Five minutes later, the Trojans got another look, this time sending it wide.
In the 52nd minute, Stuller got another one on goal for the Buffs from a corner kick that Stanley once again prevented from getting netted. The Women of Troy went on an offensive shooting spree, taking three shots in a four minute period, and hitting two on goal. In the 58th minute, Borman headed the ball wide and sent one at the goal just over a minute later.
USC continued its physical play, adding two more yellow cards to their 15 total going into this game. Though the Trojans received the cautions, they didn't lose focus on controlling possession.
The Buffs got back into the game in the final thirty minutes of regulation, when Stuller forced another save. CU spread its offensive, with Madison Krauser getting her first shot of the game in the 67th minute, and Heather Ward hitting one on goal two minutes later.
The Trojans caused quite a stir at the net in the 77th minute. First the Buffs deflected the ball away, but USC reclaimed the ball and hit it high.
Colorado and Southern California played full force in the final 10 minutes of regulation, both fighting to end the game with a goal. In the 83rd minute, Colorado grabbed possession with Hayley Hughes hitting one wide. One minute later, Stuller rushed the net from the right and took a great strike that was once again saved.
With under five minutes to play in the second half, both teams caused close calls for the opponent. The Trojans controlled the ball, and took a shot from the far edge. As the Buffs tried to clear the ball, it bounced off the crossbar, and the Trojans almost claimed an own goal.
"There one chance for a goal actually came off of us," Sanchez said. "It was just one of those days that instead of going into the goal, it got back to Brunner. I think that was kind of our moment where we thought, 'Well maybe today is our day, and we can actually get a win.'"
Colorado had an opportunity with 56 seconds remaining as Krauser rushed to the net but was blocked. For the fourth time in Pac-12 play this season, the Buffs headed into overtime.
The Trojans dominated the ball in the first overtime, though neither team could get a shot off. The Buffs would go into a second overtime for the fourth time of the season.
The Buffaloes were determined to end in the game with a win in the second overtime. Early, Colorado double-teamed the Trojans to stop a strong rush. In the 105th minute, the Buffs claimed the win. Stuller fought to get past two defenders after getting the ball from a throw-in. She edged toward the net, where she turned to cross the ball to her teammates in the middle, and found Barczuk ready. Barczuk moved to the left of the Trojans' backline to hit the game-winner for her third goal of the season.
"She's a great player," Sanchez said of Barczuk. "She's a great leader, and she embraces it. I just feel really good for her. Her senior year is coming to an end. She had this great moment to lead us to the victory and to win the game for us ... We still have three games left so there's a lot to play for, but it was a good moment for her for sure."
The Buffs conclude their four-game roadtrip in Arizona before returning to Prentup for their final game of the regular season. CU takes on Arizona on Friday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. Colorado ends the trip against Arizona State on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.