SPOKANE, Wash.-An early overtime goal by Kassidy Fitzpartick secured a 2-1 win over Washington State University for the University of Colorado women's soccer team in their final game of the Gonzaga University Tournament Sunday afternoon.
Colorado (3-3) ended a three-game losing streak after beating the Cougars (2-6) in its first overtime match this season.
"They played a million times better (than they did on Friday)," said head coach Bill Hempen. "They were fully committed to the game, and they pushed the envelope. I think they pushed it as far as they could physically, and they persevered in the end."
Today's win was a team effort on many levels. Hempen wanted to increase the intensity in front of the goal, and because of Hayley Hughes' speed he moved her up for the last 10 minutes of the first half. As a result of the change in formation, Hughes teamed up with Kate Russell to score the first goal of the match. In the 41st minute, Russell passed it to Hughes, whose initial shot was blocked by a Cougar defender. But Hughes regained possession of the ball and blasted the ball on goal for her second score of the season.
The goal by Hughes ties her with Kym Lowry atop CU's scoring list.
Washington State's Micaela Castain answered back less than a minute later at 41:32. Castain's shot hit the right goal post and bounced in to tie the score 1-1.
Kayla Millar and Annie Brunner shared goalkeeping duties. Millar started the game and Brunner took over at the beginning of the second half.
CU's intensity brewed on both ends of the field in the second half. The offense managed to outshoot the Cougars 9-7, while Brunner held the Cougars scoreless, making four saves which ties her season high.
"We went over everybody's job, and told them that they were the better team," Hempen said. "We told them that they can decide what to do with it, and obviously they took it the right way."
Less than a minute into overtime, Russell picked up her second assist as she sent a corner kick to Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick one-timed it and shot the ball into the right side of the goal, her first of the season.
"We were in the best place at the right time," said Hempen. "That's the best way to describe it."
"It was really great considering that it was an overtime golden goal," said Fitzpatrick. "All of us wanted a win out of our first traveling weekend."
Russell's performance in both games this weekend landed her a spot on the All-Tournament team along with Amy Barczuk.
Now that the Buffs have another win under their belts, they can confidently focus on the upcoming weekend.
"We are going to be playing some really good teams this next weekend and effort needs to be a priority," said Fitzpatrick.
The Buffs return home to host the annual Omni Hotels Colorado Soccer Classic on Sept. 17 & 19. Denver will take on UCLA to kick off the tournament on Friday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m. The Buffs follow with a match at 4 p.m. against Purdue at Prentup Field. On Sunday, Denver will take on Purdue at 11 a.m. with the Buffs playing future Pac-12 opponent UCLA at 1 p.m. Parking and admission to all CU home soccer games are free.