BOULDER – Behind two goals by junior Darcy Jerman, the University of Colorado soccer team defeated UNLV 3-1 in the final game of the Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic.
In front of 1,211 fans, the Buffaloes shined for a full 90 minutes in another record-breaker. Colorado concludes non-conference play with a stellar 8-1 record, with their only loss coming to then-ranked No. 16 Denver.
After starting the season a program-best perfect 6-0, the Buffs continue one of their best starts. Colorado won a record eight conference games this season, topping the previous bests of seven in 1998, 2003, ’04 and ’08. This is also only the third time in program history the Buffs have won at least eight of their first nine games.
“It’s awesome just because we’re starting Pac-12 next weekend, and I feel like we really hit a lot of momentum,” Jerman said. “We’re making good strides and we’re really working hard this season, so it’s good to win this last one and be 8-1 going into the Pac-12.”
A tie on Friday and a loss to the Buffs moves UNLV to a 5-3-2 record.
Colorado held UNLV to just six shots, all coming in the second half. For the fifth time this season, the Buffs took at least 20 shots, this time striking the ball 23 times, ranking in the top 20 at CU for most shots in a single game. The win is the Buffs’ sixth multiple goal game of the season.
Once again, the Buffs scored early and in the closing minutes. Darcy Jerman put the Buffs up 1-0 in just the third minute of the game, scoring off an assist from Brie Hooks. Defender Heather Ward helped give the Buffs some insurance before the break, heading one in off an Anne Stuller corner kick. UNLV’s Brittney Gideon, who led the Rebels with three shots, got her team on the board in the 77th minute to remain in contention. Colorado put the game away in the 82nd minute when Tori Cooper got fouled in the box. Darcy Jerman booted the ball in from a penalty kick to give the Buffs the 3-1 victory.
“Well, the first goal was a great run from Brie,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “She got to the end line and we’ve been talking a lot about when you get into dangerous spots, picking people out and she was able to pick out Darcy and it was good for Darcy to get that first goal. The second goal, and we had quite a few corner kicks in a row, we had some good service ... So it was a very good finish on the corner. And the third goal was really just Tori Cooper’s work to get in the box and get pulled down and Darcy debarred the penalty kick. So, pretty good goals, maybe could have had a couple more. But at the end of the day three goals is a good performance.”
The Buffs were on an early attack all weekend. At 2:40, the Buffs not only took the first shot of the game, but netted the first goal. Hooks at the right found Jerman at the center of the net. From 18 yards out, Jerman had on open look and booted it in.
The goal was 12th fastest in program history. After scoring at the 2:15 mark against Stony Brook on Friday, the Buffs have now scored two goals in the first three minutes of the game twice this season. The only other times the Buffs have accomplished that feat was in 2007 and 2009. (Nikki Marshall scored at the 23 second and 2:36 marks against St. Mary’s College in the Buffs’ 8-1 blowout in ’09.)
“It felt really good just because I’ve been having chances earlier this season, it just hasn’t come together,” Jerman said. “Brie had a beautiful cross in there and I was just there and shot and it was awesome. It feels good to get one under my belt, well two now.”
The Buffs kept dominating the offense, taking four more consecutive shots in four minutes. Stuller was blocked in 11th minute, and Olivia Pappalardo got her head on the ball following a corner, but Kylie Wassell grabbed the save. Wassell had to work again just one minute later, when Madison Krauser had a great look in front of the net.
In the 25th minute, the Buffs had another chance, with Krauser closing in on the net and finding her ball saved at the left corner. Stuller was ready for the quick rebound, but Colorado was called offsides.
With less than 14 minutes left in the first half, Hayley Hughes rushed from deep to close to the net, up against two defenders, she shot the ball wide left. The Buffs kept the pressure, but the Rebels grabbed three consecutive saves.
Despite the defensive pressure, the Buffs kept the pace, with back-to-back corners. On the second, Stuller set up a great ball to Ward at the far post. Ward headed the ball in low to give the Buffs the 2-0 lead with six minutes remaining before halftime. Ward, who has shine as one of the starting four in the backline, has taken just four shots in two seasons with the Buffs, with three on goal.
“It was a great ball from Anne,” Ward said. “It was kind of outside the box and she just chipped it in to the back post and I was able to get up and get my head on it.”
The Rebels looked to even the score early in the second half. In the 48th minute, A UNLV corner kept the ball on the left side of the net. After some solid pressure by the Buffs, Susie Bernal took the Rebel’s first shot of the game from close range. Annie Brunner hopped on the ball for the save. Though the ball got loose, Hooks swooped by the left side of the net to clear the ball and keep the Buffs out of danger.
UNLV had another great opportunity in the in the 54th, but Brittney Gideon just missed the net with a hard shot at the crossbar. The Buffs quickly responded, with Tori Cooper taking her second straight shot. She got the ball from Krauser at the left, and with few defenders took a close range shot, but sent the ball high. Colorado was at it again in the 62nd. Stuller approached from the left, and edged the net at the right post. With the keeper out of the net, Stuller had an open look but knocked the crossbar.
Both teams kept up pressure, with the Rebels forcing Brunner to work for a save in the 65th minute. The Buffs then went on a 5-0 shooting run in a seven minute span, but couldn’t reach the back of the net. A Rebel line change helped give the squad some momentum. Less than a minute after the substitutions, UNLV got on the board. The Rebels created some space, and Gideon was able to get a look from 18 yards to score in the 77th minute. Gaby Vasquez and Jenn Wolfe were credited with the assists.
“We were winning 2-0, and that’s a dangerous lead in soccer,” Jerman said. “We might have relaxed for a minute and I think that their goal sparked us back up again, and we came back strong.”
Gideon went for it again at 80:39, but shot the ball just high. The Buffs got back on the attack, and with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation, Cooper drew a foul in the box to set up a penalty kick. Jerman took the shot in the 82nd minute, hitting the ball to the left corner and just past the keeper.
Jerman scored her first goals of the season and had her first multiple goal game of her career in the victory. She is the third player this season to have a multi-goal performance, joining Hooks and Stuller. This is just the fifth time in program history that at least three players have had a multi-goal game in a single season.
The Buffs are pleased with the win and hope to keep their momentum going, but know that a big challenge awaits them next weekend as Pac-12 Conference play begins against No. 2 Stanford.
“I feel like we’re ready,” Jerman said. “We’re at a way better spot than we were last year, and I’m just ready to prove a point in the Pac-12 because we have everything to prove and nothing to lose.”
Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with your CU soccer team as they play 2012 NCAA runner-up Stanford in the first Pac-12 match of the season! The first 500 fans to the match will receive a FREE pair of CU sunglasses. Make sure to sit in the Buff Brigade cheering section and help give CU soccer a real home field advantage!
UNC (4-3-2) took down Stony Brook (5-3-1) in Sunday’s opener. The 1-0 victory helped the Bears to a runner-up performance at the Classic.
Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team
GK – Natalie D’Adamio – Northern Colorado
D – Lizzy Herzl – Colorado
D – Priscilla Wiggins – Stony Brook
M – Madison Krauser – Colorado
M – Darcy Jerman – Colorado
M – Danielle Birdsall – Northern Colorado
M – Tara Rickenbach – Northern Colorado
M – Courtney Botelho – UNLV
F – Larissa Nysch – Stony Brook
F – Jenn Wolfe – UNLV
F – Brie Hooks