BOULDER – Four different Buffaloes scored goals as the University of Colorado soccer team defeated Stony Brook 4-0 in the second game of Friday’s Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic.
The Buffs continue to look solid on both sides of the ball, outshooting the Seawolves 20-4 (including eight to zero on goal), and recording their sixth shutout of the young season.
“I think we all just came out and worked really hard because I think we all wanted it after everything that happened last week (at Denver),” Madison Krauser said. “And so, we were just connected very well up top and the defense did a great job holding the line back there and I mean it was just great to get a win.”
The solid Colorado backline, which head coach Danny Sanchez calls his team’s bread and butter, was so dominate in front of the net, that goalkeeper Annie Brunner didn’t have to work for any saves. This blocking power helped Brunner move up a spot to tie for fourth in the season shutout list (where she already holds the third spot from 2012 and seventh in 2010).
The Buffs (7-1) spread the offense for a full 90 minutes, scoring in the third and 90th minutes. Brie Hooks notched her seventh of the season off a Madison Krauser assist at the 2:15 mark. Later in the half, Krauser was at it again, scoring her first goal of the season off an Alex Huynh assist (her second) to give the Buffs a 2-0 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Buffs limited the Seawolves (5-2-1) to a single shotl while continuing to dominate the offense. In the 78th minute, Emily Paxton added the extra insurance off a Carly Bolyard corner kick to net her first goal of the season. Anne Stuller really put the game away in the final seven seconds as she put her golden boot to work, netting her sixth goal of the season off a free kick.
“If you give them something early, and they pack it in, it becomes difficult,” Sanchez said, “but if you score early, it opens the game up. I think it really opened up for us in the first half. Madi scored a very nice goal … Emily scores her first of the year, so it’s good to spread it around a little bit as well. It was vitally important for us to get that first goal.”
The four goals tied for ninth in all-time at CU (the second time this season the Buffs have scored four goals) and the 11 points tied for 15th.
From the opening minute, Hooks was already on the attack. Her first shot arched from the right corner to find the near post, where the keeper saved it by her fingertips.
At the 2:15 mark, Krauser rushed from the left side to find Hooks from 18 yards out at the center of the net. Hooks needed just one touch to find the back of the net to put the Buffs up 1-0 early.
“That was one of the first things coach told us, was make sure we get that goal early because otherwise you’re struggling to find it if you wait,” Krauser said. “I just stayed out wide like I was told and then they got me the ball and I just had space and kind of just crossed it in because I saw Brie there and she had a great finish.”
The goal was the ninth fastest in program history and the seventh of Hooks’ young career. Hooks now ties Fran Munnelly for third most goals by a freshman and holds sole possession of fourth most points scored by a freshman.
Krauser has had five assists in the in the last four games. She ties Jen Thais and Katie Griffin for the most assists by a sophomore.
Stony Brook’s first shot of the half came just one minute later, but the ball went wide. After a 10 minute shooting drought, Stuller responded with three consecutive shots in less than a four minute span.
At 18:46, the Buffs were at it again. From the midfield, Huynh found Krauser who began dribbling from the left side and got the ball just past the keeper at the right side of the net.
“I was dribbling and I was looking for a player open and once I kept dribbling I noticed that I was at the top of the eighteen and I was like, ‘Well I might as well take it,’” Krauser said. “I definitely was struggling at first with my touches, but then I got it and just took one and got through the defense and just went in and I was very happy.”
With under 16 minutes remaining, the Sea Wolves made a commotion at the net when the ball edged ever closer to Brunner, but Bianca Jones stopped the ball at the right post preventing a save. Stony Brook got the ball quickly afterward, hitting the ball wide.
The Buffs remained competitive in the closing minutes of the half, but couldn’t hit any more shots at the net. In the final 12 seconds, SBU would take just its third shot of the half, but the ball would go high, keeping the Buffs up 2-0 at halftime.
The Buffs continued to dominate the offense in the second half, taking two shots in the first five minutes, and then four consecutive corner kicks in less than four minutes.
In the 67th minute, Stony Brook’s Caitlin Pfeiffer was handed a yellow card, setting up Stuller’s second penalty kick of the season. Though she found her own rebound off a PK against UT Martin, her kick went right to the keeper this time. Colorado stayed at it, with Stuller just missing the net by hitting the crossbar from the right, and Paxton hitting one wide just 35 seconds later.
In the 73rd minute, SBU took its first and only shot of the second half, with Danielle Fuller hitting it high.
Hayley Hughes had an impressive fake-out at midfield, allowing her to rush toward the net, but the ball was just saved at the right. The shot set up a corner kick, with Heather Ward getting the ball to Hooks who found herself blocked. Bolyard took another corner kick, hitting the ball high to find Paxton at the left of the net and hit the ball in.
“It feels great,” Paxton said. “It feels almost like a confidence booster after having last week.” Though the Buffs suffered their first loss last week to No. 16 Denver, Paxton said Friday’s win helped prove what the team could do against other teams.
The Buffs would take one more shot and three more corners before the final minute blowout. With just seven seconds remaining in the game, Stuller took a free kick from just behind the middle of the box to send the ball left and past the keeper. The goal was the second latest regulation goal in program history.
CU stands out in the tournament, pulling off the day’s only victory (UNLV and Northern Colorado tied 1-1 in the opener). Sunday opens with Stony Brook facing UNC at 11 a.m. and CU taking on UNLV at 1:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the game for a special autograph session with the team.