QUICKLY: The University of Colorado soccer team opens the 2014 season with the fourth annual Colorado Cup.  CU opens the Cup in Boulder at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22 against Colorado State. Play continues at Prentup Field on Sunday, Aug. 24 when the Buffs face Northern Colorado.  Since the Colorado Cup was created in 2011, CU has taken home the cup two out of the three years.

PROMOTIONS: The Buffs will unveil their 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 banner prior to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 22. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative pennant.

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: For those members of the media wishing to interview the women’s soccer team during the season, please contact Assistant Sports Information Director/Soccer Contact Ashley Braun at (303) 492-7525 or ashley.braun@colorado.edu.

COLORADO VS. COLORADO STATE: Friday marks the first meeting between the two programs.

SCOUTING THE RAMS: The Rams open their second season. In its inaugural year, CSU finished 2-13-3. Although just nine players return from last year’s roster, the starting defense remains the same, including co-captains Megan Speed and Jami Vaughn, who played every minute in each game last season.

FAMILIAR FACE:  In his second season as head coach, Colorado State’s Bill Hempen returns to Boulder for the first time after coaching the Buffs for 11 seasons (2001-11). During Hempen’s tenure, CU went 114-88-28 and won the 2003 Big 12 Conference Championship.

COLORADO VS. NORTHERN COLORADO: The Buffs are a perfect 7-0 in the series against the Bears, shutting out the Bears and scoring at least two goals in all seven times. Last year, Colorado defeated UNC 3-0 on the first day of the Colorado Cup in Denver.

SCOUTING THE BEARS: Last season, UNC finished 9-6-5 overall and finished fourth in the Big Sky Conference after reaching the conference tournament for the fifth time under head coach Tim Barrera. The Bears lost eight players in 2013 that combined for 112 starts and return four student-athletes from the 2013 Big Sky All-Conference team.

WHO’S RETURNING FOR CU: The Buffs return 18 letterwinners, including seven starters. Four of the team’s top five scorers return, led by sophomore Brie Hooks, who recorded 18 points off eight goals and two assists in her debut season. All but two goal scorers will be returning to the Buff attack, while defenders Alex Huynh and Heather Ward will help protect the net for a new goalkeeper. Six seniors will provide leadership on and off the pitch.

WHO’S GONE: The team bids farewell to six players, including four senior starters. Forward Anne Stuller had one of the best senior campaigns in program history, setting single season records with 93 shots attempted and 53 shots on goal, while scoring nine goals and contributing eight assists. The defense also takes a hit, with shot blocker Lizzy Herzl and 2013 co-captains Hayley Hughes and Annie Brunner all graduating from CU. In her final season, Brunner grabbed 87 saves, recorded a 1.11 goals-against average and helped the Buffs to nine shutouts. Taylor Thurmond and Sydney Carlson, who played a combined 35 minutes last season, will not be returning in 2014.

WHO’S NEW: CU welcomes 10 newcomers - six freshmen and four transfers. West Coasters Courtney Fedor, Joss Orejel and Jenna Reeves look to make an early impact in the defensive unit, while Arizona’s Nancy Best and Brittney Stark of Broomfield, Colo. will add a scoring presence in the midfield and on the attack, respectively. Four players will continue their collegiate careers at Colorado. Aussie Kahlia Hogg (Florida State) and Colorado native Morgan Stanton (Santa Clara) help add depth to the midfield. Defender Berkley Gamble (Washington) and goalkeeper Kate Scheele (Colorado College) will support a young backline.

HEAD COACH DANNY SANCHEZ: Third year head coach Danny Sanchez has been outstanding at the helm of CU. Sanchez recorded his 20th win with the program last season, exactly 10 wins faster than his most recent predecessor. In former coach Bill Hempen’s final season in 2010, the Buffs only won four games and lost a record 13. In just two seasons, Sanchez drastically turned that around, posting eight wins in his first year and 14 in 2013. Last season, Sanchez helped lead the team to the NCAA Sweet 16 for just the second time in program history. In his 19 year coaching career, Sanchez has accumulated a 289-75-29 record.

SOPHOMORE BRIE HOOKS: Brie Hooks earned a spot on the College Sports Madness Preseason All-Pac-12 Second Team. Hooks, a forward from Maple Valley, Wash., had a stellar debut at Colorado last season. In her first collegiate game, she helped the Buffs to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score multiple goals in her Colorado debut. She was an important part of the Buffs’ 1-0 victory over No. 15 Denver in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, drawing the foul that set up the game-winning goal. Hooks and the Buffs ended their season with a trip to the Sweet 16, matching the program best finish first recorded in 2006. In CU’s freshman offensive record books, Hooks concluded 2013 ranked third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points (eight goals, two assists). Her 42 shots tied for eighth. Her eight goals also tied for eighth most in a single season at CU. Hooks capped her freshman campaign with an invite to the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team training camp and a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team. She was also named the team’s Newcomer of the Year and the CU Female Freshman Athlete of the Year.

SENIOR DARCY JERMAN: One of six seniors on the squad, Darcy Jerman looks to be a leader for the Buffs in 2014. Jerman has been an important part of CU’s midfield for three seasons, but really made her mark as a junior. Scoring three goals in her first two seasons, Jerman netted three goals and added an assist as a junior. She was one of three Buffs in 2014 to have a multi-goal game, and she was a perfect 2-for-2 in penalty kicks.

2013, A LOOK BACK: The Buffs broke numerous records in 2013. They marked program firsts by shutting out their first five opponents and beating their first six. The Buffs set another record by completing the non-conference portion of the regular season with eight wins. With a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, the Buffs extended that record to 10. After back-to-back 11th place finishes in their first two seasons in the Pac-12 Conference, the Buffs were chosen to finish 10th in the 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll. During conference play, the Buffs got their first ever wins over Oregon State and Oregon (also their first Pac-12 home wins) and Washington. The Buffs broke expectations, finishing tied for sixth in conference play, though at one point in the season, they were tied for second place. Colorado continued to prove its strength, becoming one of six Pac-12 members to make the NCAA Tournament. Along with UCLA and Stanford, CU was one of three Pac-12 teams to advance to the second round of play. Last season marked just the fifth season that the Buffs won at least 14 games (also done in 2003, ‘04, ‘06 and ‘08 - all years the Buffs made a trip to the NCAAs). The Buffs ended their season by matching their program best finish, reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006, defeating No. 15 Denver and No. 19 BYU along the way.

NSCAA RANKINGS: The Buffs received votes in the 2014 NSCAA Preseason Poll. CU received votes in the NSCAA poll heading into 19 of its 23 games last season. CU will face five opponents ranked or receiving votes in the 2014 preseason poll, including reigning national champion and No. 1 ranked UCLA.
OPENING WEEKEND: CU will open the 2014 campaign at Prentup Field with back-to-back Colorado Cup tournament games, facing Colorado State at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 22 and Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 24. The first 500 fans in attendance to the home opener will receive a commemorative pennant celebrating the Buffs’ 2013 Sweet 16 appearance. Both games will air on the Pac-12 Networks.

COLORADO CUP: The Colorado Cup is an annual tournament that brings together all six Division I Colorado universities and colleges to celebrate the game of soccer in this beautiful state. Beginning in the 2011 season, the founding teams were Colorado, Northern Colorado, Denver and Colorado College. CU won the first two trophies, defeating UNC 3-0 both seasons and routing CC 5-0 in 2011 and tying the Tigers 0-0 in 2012. In both tournaments, CU won on goal differential. Though CU shutout UNC 3-0 and CC 1-0 in 2013, DU claimed the trophy. Both teams won two games, and had an equal goal differential (five goals forced and one allowed for Denver, four goals scored and zero allowed for Colorado), goals scored worked as the tiebreaker, giving the Pioneers their first Cup trophy. There will be several changes to this year’s Cup format. Air Force and Colorado State will join the tournament that will now span several months as opposed to a single weekend. For more information including composite schedules, please visit http://www.denverpioneers.com/sports/w-soccer/ColoradoCup.html.

PAC-12 NETWORKS: In its third year, the Pac-12 Networks will air 69 women’s soccer games, including nine of the Buffs’ matchups. Women’s soccer is the marquee event on the Networks’ telecast schedule Friday and Sunday afternoons during the fall with additional primetime matchups on Monday and Thursday.
PRENTUP PASS: Prentup Passes are on sale now for the 2014 soccer season. General admission and parking are still free at Prentup Field for all CU soccer games, though fans in attendance can make a voluntary donation which will go to help support the team when they travel to Spain in March to train and compete against professional teams. Fans looking to further support the team while receiving great benefits can purchase a Prentup Pass, Prentup Pass Gold or Prentup Pass Platinum at CUBuffs.com/prentuppass.