COLLEGE STATION, Texas-Freshman Lizzy Herzl scored her second golden goal in as many games to lift the University of Colorado women's soccer team to a 2-1 overtime win over No. 6 Texas A&M University late Friday night at the Aggie Soccer Stadium.
One would think it would be tough for Herzl to top her game-winning heroics from last weekend, clinching a 1-0 win over then No. 10-ranked UCLA with a goal on her first collegiate shot in the 108th minute of overtime, but the Littleton, Colo., native did it again to secure the Buffs first ever win in College Station.
"For a freshman to have two game-winning goals against two very good programs, that's pretty awesome for her," said head coach Bill Hempen.
The Buffaloes improve to 5-4 overall and the Aggies fall to 7-3 in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
Despite an hour and a half weather delay due to lightning in the area, Colorado got off to a fast start.
Just minutes into the first half, CU found the back of the net. Midfielder Kate Russell scored CU's first goal only 3:11 into the contest. Russell unloaded a cannon from over 30 yards out that slipped through Aggie goalkeeper Kelly Dyer's hands and into the back of the net. Hayley Hughes contributed the assist on Russell's goal which gave the Buffs an early 1-0 lead.
The goal was Russell's first of the season as Hughes recorded her first career assist.
The Buffs controlled the first 45 minutes of the game and held the Aggies scoreless, claiming a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
The Aggie intensity grew in the second half, along with that of the nearly 2,000 in attendance at Aggie Soccer Stadium.
"In the second half, they made some adjustments that we didn't adjust well to," Hempen said. "They did something that I did not expect that they were going to do, and the crowd is really good at not allowing me to get any information to my team."
Hempen noticed that the Aggies increased the number of midfielders to the point that it was an uneven matchup for the Buffs.
Texas A&M's second half plan succeeded as Merritt Mathias evened the score after netting A&M's first goal at 56:32. She shot the ball from 20 yards out into the left side of Colorado's goal to even the game at 1-1.
For the third time in four games, the Buffs went to overtime.
Eight minutes into the extra session Herzl beame a hero once again in the clutch off a pass from Kassidy Fitzpatrick. She took her signature shot from over 20 yards out, and the ball grazed the top of the cross bar over Dyer's head into the back of the net to lock the win.
This goal was off Herzl's third shot of the season after she was moved from defender to forward in overtime of the UCLA match.
"I think offense is really fun," said Herzl "I've never played (forward) before and being up there is really cool. I like to score goals, and I think that it's a good move."
"They were on us pretty strong and we finally woke up and had some chances of our own and were really fortunate to get to overtime because we were hanging on," Hempen said. "Lizzy hit a great shot. It was a hard shot that had a little dip on it and it got over the keeper and into the goal."
A team that struggled at the beginning of the season has now recorded back-to-back wins over ranked teams for the first time in team history. It's also the highest ranked team CU has defeated on the road and the Buffaloes claim their fourth-ever road win over a ranked team, the last a 1-0 win at No. 25 Oklahoma State on Oct. 28, 2007.
CU is undefeated (3-0) this season in games that have gone past 90 minutes.
"It was knock-down, drag-out for sure," said Hempen on today's matchup. "We are going to compete and be in every game from here on out."
The Buffaloes return home to take on the University of Texas Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. The first 500 fans to arrive at Prentup Field will receive a mini-soccer ball courtesy of the Boulder Buff Club.