BOULDER-The University of Colorado women's soccer team upset No. 10 UCLA 1-0 after Lizzy Herzl scored a double-overtime goal in the Omni Hotels Colorado Soccer Classic Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field.
Colorado's win over UCLA was the first time CU had defeated a top-10 team since beating No. 10 Texas 1-0 on Oct. 10, 2008.
Colorado improved to 4-4 after giving future Pac-12 Conference rival UCLA (4-2-1) its second loss of the season.
"Most of our games this season there has been something going on that wasn't working, but today, you couldn't have asked anyone to give more because everyone worked their tail off," said Kate Russell. "It was a team effort."
Whatever seemed to be 'going wrong' earlier in the season must have stayed at home today as the Buffaloes battled the Bruins to a scoreless tie after 90 minutes of regulation and the first overtime.
Not only did the score prove that the teams were evenly matched, but after 100 minutes of play, UCLA had attempted 11 shots, and CU followed with 10. The Bruins' goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford made four saves as Colorado's Annie Brunner made five, and both teams registered 13 fouls each.
The second 10 minutes of sudden death started, and Colorado stuck with the same plan of action they had throughout the game.
"We relied on some players that we don't normally rely on, and they all did a great job for us today," said head coach Bill Hempen.
Hempen decided to put Alex Dohm on the defensive end of the field to help stop one of UCLA's key players, Sydney Leroux.
"He told me to stay on Leroux when she was on the field, and my role was to shut her down," said Dohm.
"[Leroux] is an outstanding player, and if you can limit the touches and opportunities she gets then you have a good chance," Hempen said. "Alex probably did as good a job on one of the best players in the country that anyone could possibly do."
With one of his strategies working, Hempen got creative when he made another drastic switch in the second overtime period by putting Herzl in the game at forward, a position she had never played before in college.
After only seven minutes at the forward position, Herzl scored the golden-goal off assists from Kym Lowry and Russell to end the game 1-0. Russell chipped it to Lowry from the right sideline. Lowry sent the ball back to Herzl on a header who was charging towards the play, and Herzl volleyed the ball into the top left corner of UCLA's goal.
"[Getting the game winning goal] and beating UCLA felt really good," said Herzl.
Although Herzl was credited with the game-winner, she agreed with Russell that "it was definitely a team effort."
Brunner recorded a season-high five saves and earned another shutout win bringing her total to three.
"That's a Division I goalkeeper," said Hempen after observing Brunner's effort in goal. "She just grew up today on a big stage against one of the best teams in the country, and for her to keep us in the game when we needed a big save, she did it. And that's what it takes for us to succeed."
Junior Maggi Steury recorded her first career start and played a career high 84 minutes for the Buffs.
"A lot went into this win," said Hempen. "That's the way a team is supposed to play."
Denver beat Purdue 2-1 after a last second goal by Kristen Hamilton in Sunday's first match of the Omni Hotels Colorado Soccer Classic. Although UCLA lost its second match, they won the tournament after allowing the fewest goals (2) in two matches.
The Buffs travel to College Station, Texas, on Friday, Sept. 24 to take on the Aggies in their first Big 12 Conference matchup this season. On Sunday, Sept. 26 the Buffs return home to Prentup Field and host the Texas Longhorns at 1 p.m.