Laramie, Wyo. - The University of Colorado soccer team stepped up to the challenge against its northern rivals, defeating the University of Wyoming Cowgirls 2-0 on Friday at Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.
"It was a little surreal," Sanchez said. "Obviously we have a lot of great feelings for this program and this team, but once the game started it was like we were playing any other team."
The Cowgirls were 36-34-11 under Sanchez's tenure, and fall to 6-3-0 in their first season with Pete Cuadrado. The Buffs improve to 5-1-2 as the complete non-conference play this weekend.
With seven goals this season, Stuller ties Melissa Cartmell (1999) for fifth on CU's list of most goals by a junior.
Goalkeeper Annie Brunner also moved up in the record books. She had several solid saves in the second half for four total in the game. She moved past Kara Linder (2006-09) for sixth most saves with 127 all-time for the Buffs.
She notched her fourth shutout of 2012 to tie for 10th most shutouts in a season. Brunner ties Kara Linder (2007) and Sloane Cox (1998) for 10th place, and also holds down the sixth spot for five shutouts in 2010.
"It was a good win," coach Sanchez said. "This is a really good team, and we knew it. Wyoming really stepped up in the second half. This is the first time they've been shut out since their first game (a 2-0 loss to Montana)."
Though both teams took three shots in the first half, Colorado reached the back of the net to take a 2-0 lead into halftime and eventually claim the win.
In the 14th minute, Madison Krauser sent one wide, but just two minutes later broke away off an assist from fellow freshman Olivia Pappalardo to roll one past the keeper and put the Buffs on the board.
At the 31:52 mark, Anne Stuller banked one in after a deflection by a Wyoming defender to score her seventh goal of the season.
"Stuller just needs a little space, and she was able to get a shot off," Sanchez said. "In the first half we played very well."
Seven first half fouls got in the Cowgirls' way, giving the Buffs the upper hand.
A goalkeeper change for Wyoming did help cool Stuller's electric offense coming out of the break. Courtney Merkle came in for Carmen McDermott and grabbed a save for the Cowgirls just 49 seconds into the second half.
The Cowgirls stepped up at both ends of the ball, outshooting the Buffs seven to two. Sanchez said this led to some scary moments, with Wyoming throwing everything at CU in the second half. Sophomore Lucie McDonnell led Wyoming offensively. McDonnell sent it wide 12 minutes in and forced a save 10 minutes later.
Wyoming took three shots in as many minutes, with two of them on goal, but couldn't get anything past Brunner. CU had a close call in the final 28 seconds, but Brunner secured the shutout.
Sanchez looks forward to the Buffs' final regional match-up of the season against Air Force (4-1-2 going into the Friday night game against Colgate.
"This is our last chance in the non-conference to really play and show who we are," Sanchez said. "It's our first televised game (on the Pac-12 Networks), and the Buff Brigade will be out in full effect."
Make a healthy and environmentally friendly trip to Prentup Field on Sunday, Sept. 16 to watch CU Soccer take on Air Force at 1:00 p.m. The first 100 fans who bike to Prentup will receive a FREE CU t-shirt! Admission is free so grab your family and friends for a bike ride to Prentup Field and be sure to sit in the newly created cheering section the Buff Brigade!