DENVER- Colorado defeated Cal State Bakersfield in a game that was more one-sided than the scoreboard reflected.
The Buffs beat the Roadrunners 2-1 on Sunday in the last match of the Denver Invitational after outshooting CSUB 18-4 and dominating the majority of play. CU claimed its first victory since taking down Northern Colorado in the final game of the Colorado Cup on August 21.
"You always remind yourself, ugly or whatever, a win is a win," CU head coach Bill Hempen said. "We certainly needed that."
In the 13th minute of the game, Shaye Marshall-who played outside midfielder for a change-was taken down in the Roadrunner's box after a hard rush to goal. Amy Barczuk took the ensuing penalty kick and scored to put the Buffs up 1-0. Two of Barczuk's three goals have come from penalty kicks this season.
Besides moving Marshall outside, CU was forced to make some changes in the lineup with Caroline Danneberg, Bianca Jones and Lizzy Herzl sitting out with injuries. Colorado also wanted to match CSU Bakersfield's formation of a 4-4-2.
"A lot of kids who were subs on Friday were starters today. We survived without [the injured players], and hopefully we can get them back heading into next week," Hempen said.
CU took a 2-0 lead 13 minutes after its first goal when Marshall roofed the CSUB keeper for her first goal of the season. Anne Stuller played a perfect through ball to Kate Russell who drew the Cal State Bakersfield defense in before sending the ball to a wide open Marshall on the outside.
It appeared Russell would have had a breakaway on the play, but she instead slowed up and played a selfless ball to Marshall.
"You have to always expect the ball, but usually Kate takes that one and goes against the goalie and scores," Marshall said. "You've always got to support her no matter what."
Colorado had opportunity after opportunity to score, but could not put the game away. Nine players took shots for the Buffs with Anne Stuller leading with six.
On one of its few defensive breakdowns, CU gave up a corner kick to the Roadrunners who capitalized on it in the 32nd minute. After a scramble in front of the net, CSUB's Tyler Shirk found a loose ball in the box and squeaked it by Annie Brunner. CU defender Amy Steiner tried to save the ball after it trickled past Brunner, but it had already crossed the goal line.
Colorado had a chance to go up by two at the end of the first half when freshman Storie Ledger almost had a breakaway before being tripped up in the box. CU thought it would have its second penalty kick of the game, but the referees did not call a foul. The game remained 2-0 going into halftime.
Brunner was replaced by Kayla Millar at the beginning of the second half. It was her first action of the season, and she made CU's only save of the game that came with 13 minutes remaining in the match.
Though the Buffs had a smaller defensive line with Steiner, Hayley Hughes and Quinn Krier, they held their own and limited CSUB to four shots and three corner kicks.
Coach Hempen is hoping the upcoming schedule will allow his team to get healthy so all players can play for the big two-game weekend coming up at the end of this month.
"The schedule is in our favor knowing we have only one opponent next weekend," he said.
Colorado will head to Corvallis, Ore., on Friday to kick off its first season in the Pac-12 against Oregon State.