BOULDER – The season of firsts continues for the University of Colorado soccer team, as the Buffaloes defeated Oregon State 2-1 on Friday at Prentup Field.
The victory was the Buffs’ first home win in the Pac-12 since joining the conference in 2011, and their first win over OSU. The Buffs got revenge on Oregon State after the Beavers handed CU its biggest conference loss of 2012 when they downed the Buffs 2-0 at Prentup.
“I feel like we played, not to overstate it, like warriors today, especially the last 15 minutes of the game,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We played tough today. I think we’ve hopefully turned a corner. We always talked about that first Pac-12 home win. But we’re only worried about this year. We’re 1-1 in Pac-12 play going into the game on Sunday against Oregon.”
Two goals in the first 14 minutes and a strong second-half defense gave the Buffs the win and helped extend their record to a stellar 9-2 (1-1 in Pac-12 play). Despite getting on the board just seconds after the Buffs’ second goal, Oregon State could never find the equalizer. After one of the nation’s most difficult non-conference schedules, Oregon State falls to 2-7-2 overall, 0-1-1 Pac-12.
From the opening minute, Oregon State was on the attack, looking to pull itself out of last place in the conference in goals scored, having netted only eight entering the match. OSU controlled the tempo early, taking the first shot in the first 48 seconds.
The Buffs began to gain possession, though struggled to find the right shot; that is until the sixth minute, when the Buffs took their first shot and also made their first goal. Following an Oregon State foul, Alex Huynh sent a great free kick in front of the net. Anne Stuller got away from the group, passing back to Madison Krauser. From 18 yards out, Krauser had an open look and shot to the right corner to give the Buffs the early lead.
The assist was Stuller’s sixth of the season, tying for the most by a senior and tying for eighth all time.
Both teams battled back and forth, with OSU senior forward Jenna Richardson getting blocked in the eighth minute and Stuller nearly sliding one past the keeper in the 13th.
Less than a minute after her near goal, Stuller found the back of the net. At 13:19, Bianca Jones rushed from right edge, and found Stuller who took the close range shot to net her seventh goal of the season. With one goal and one assist in the game, Stuller ties for second most points by a senior, with 20 total points this season.
Just 38 seconds after the Buffs’ second goal, Oregon State tightened CU’s lead to 2-1. Richardson was at it again, this time getting the ball from Erin Uchacz at the left corner. Just one touch was all Richardson needed to get the goal.
“They always say the most dangerous lead in soccer is 2-0, which of course it’s not; it’s 1-0,” Sanchez said. “I think at 2-0, we relaxed. They scored their goal a minute after we scored that goal. We made it more difficult than we needed to. I think after that the game settled down.”
Though both teams continued to get looks in the remainder of the first half, neither was able to score again. In the 22nd minute, Stuller sent one right at OSU keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. It wasn’t until the 34th minute that the Beavers were able to respond, with Natalie Meiggs sending the ball high after a corner kick. Prudhomme had two close calls at the net in the final six minutes. Stuller sent a ball just right of the post in the 39th minute. After Alyssa Herwatt subbed in for Stuller, she also came close to scoring, hitting the ball just to the left this time.
After the Beavers narrowed the Buffs’ lead in the first half, CU came out defensively minded in the second half.
“I know from my perspective, it just makes me work,” Krauser said about giving up the goal. “We were up and we didn’t want them to get another goal in. It makes me work harder, and I think most of my teammates are the same way. It almost motivates us more because we want to get that win. It pushes us harder.”
Colorado and Oregon State both looked to score again in the beginning of the second half. In the 52nd minute, from the right, Jones sent the ball to the net, where Olivia Pappalardo created space to get an open look, but sent the ball just left of the net. Seventeen seconds later, Stuller got a shot at the middle of the box, but sent the ball right to Prudhomme. Richardson responded for OSU, but was blocked once more by Heather Ward.
Though Oregon State had the advantage on offensive possession and tempo in the second half, the Buffs’ backline limited the Beavers to just four second half shots. At the 64 minute mark, Sabrina Santarossa caused a stir in front of the Colorado net, but Annie Brunner stopped the ball for one of her three saves.
After a nearly 14 minute shooting drought, Richardson nearly snuck one in, but was once again stopped short, finding her shot blocked. One minute later, the Buffs claimed possession and rushed down the field with Darcy Jerman shooting one for the Buffs.
With just four minutes remaining in regulation, Richardson nearly tied things up. She dodged defenders to shoot the ball to the far post, but Brunner dived for the save. OSU was unable to get back to the net on their ensuing corner kick, helping the Buffs’ early 2-1 lead hold for the remainder.
Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with head coach Danny Sanchez and your CU Soccer team as they take on the Oregon Ducks on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.
“They’re athletic, and they had a good result against Washington State in their first (Pac-12) home game,” Sanchez said. “We’ll see how they do tonight. Utah’s tough to beat at home, especially if the weather’s icy there. We’re going to enjoy this for a few minutes, and tomorrow we’ll start thinking about Oregon.”
To celebrate family day on Sunday, we will be giving out FREE T-shirts to the first 500 fans and there will be a face painter at the game. Be sure to get to the game early to see Ralphie run. Also, celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 Big 12 Conference Champions as they are honored at halftime!