QUICKLY: The University of Colorado soccer team opens the 2013 season with the third annual Colorado Cup. CU opens the Cup in Denver at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23 against Northern Colorado. Denver and Colorado College follow with a match-up at 7:30 p.m. Play comes to Prentup on Sunday, Aug. 25. Denver and Northern Colorado lead off the day at noon, with CU and CC concluding the tournament at 2:30 p.m. CU is undefeated in two Colorado Cups, taking home the trophy both years, while never allowing a goal.
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: For those members of the media wishing to interview the women’s soccer team during the season, please contact Graduate Assistant Sports Information Director/Soccer Contact Marlee Horn at (303) 492-7525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLORADO VS. NORTHERN COLORADO: CU leads the series 6-0, shutting out the Bears and scoring at least two goals all six times. Last season, CU defeated UNC 3-0 in Greeley on the first day of the Cup, behind goals from Anne Stuller (on her way to three two-goal efforts in four games) and Nikki Machalek (in her debut collegiate game). This will be the teams’ first match-up on neutral ground.
SCOUTING THE BEARS: The Bears return seven starters, including five All-Big Sky Conference team members, from last year’s team that went 6-7-5. After winning the regular season conference title in 2011, UNC fell to fifth in 2012. The Bears return 70 percent of their scoring power from last season, and look strong defensively, with 2012 Big Sky Goalkeeper of the Year Natalie D’Adamio returning at the net. UNC has yet to win a game in the Colorado Cup.
COLORADO VS. COLORADO COLLEGE: The Buffs have a 6-2-1 series advantage over the Tigers. Last season, neither team scored through two overtimes, marking the sixth time the Buffs shut out the Tigers. The Buffs have been undefeated against the Tigers since 1997, when CU fell 3-0 in Boulder.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: The Tigers return seven starters that combined for nearly half the team’s points last season. In 2012, CC posted a 14-4-5 overall record, including an impressive 8-2-1 conference mark. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell in the first round to fellow in-state rival Denver. CC has lost its leading scorer, Brittney Lyman, who scored six goals and added eight assists in her final season.
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER: Stand shoulder to shoulder with head coach Danny Sanchez and the CU Soccer team as they host Colorado College in the first Buffs athletic event of the year. In honor of the first home game of the season, we will be celebrating Student Appreciation Day where there will be free Half Fast Subs and prizes for students that attend. Make sure to sit in the Buff Brigade cheering section and help give CU Soccer a real home field advantage. Located at the north end of Prentup Field the Brigade will be loud and spirited as they cheer the Buffs to victory!
COLORADO CUP: The Colorado Cup is a tournament that brings together four major Colorado universities and colleges to celebrate the game of soccer in this beautiful state. Beginning in the 2011 season, the Cup includes the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Denver and Colorado College. CU has won both trophies, defeating UNC 3-0 both seasons and routing CC 5-0 in 2011 and tying the Tigers 0-0 last season. In both tournaments, CU has won on goal differential.
COLORADO NATIVE: The Cup also allows the public to watch local Colorado players who have risen through the ranks of state youth programs. A total of 44 players from the four teams hail from the Centennial State. These players come from 24 cities and 32 different high schools. Littleton, Centennial and Colorado Springs supplied the most players, with five players hailing from each city. Littleton and Colorado Springs are the most diverse, with natives attending three of the four universities. Four players have come out of Fairview High School, with Grandview and Smoky Hill following with three apiece. UNC has the most Coloradan players, with 19. Denver is next with 12, while CU and CC have nine and four, respectively.
WHO’S RETURNING: The Buffaloes return 16 players, including 13 letter-winners and eight starters. Four of the team’s top five scorers return, led by senior Anne Stuller, who netted eight goals and had two assists last season. Fellow seniors and co-captains Hayley Hughes (two goals and three assists) and Annie Brunner (70 saves and 7.1 shutouts) hope to lead the team to victory in the 2013 season. The team also has a strong young presence. Sophomores Madison Krauser, a member of the Pac-12 Freshman Team, and Emily Paxton combined for a total of 11 points in their first season.
WHO’S GONE: The Buffs bid farewell to nine players, including six seniors, three of whom were starters. Midfielder Amy Barczuk concluded her career at CU by breaking numerous records and earning a place on the All-Pac-12 Second Team. Barczuk has continued her soccer career as a second round draft pick by the Western New York Flash in the inaugural NWSL Draft. Other 2012 senior starters Shaye Marshall and Quinn Krier combined for eight assists in the midfield. Reserve keeper Kayla Millar closed out a career that included helping CU to its first win in the Pac-12. CU also lost two more seniors, Lauren Shaner and Erin Bricker, who provided extra minutes off the bench. Jenna Glad, Courtney Dudley and Elise Romano, who played a combined 386 minutes in their freshmen campaigns, will not be returning this season.
WHO’S NEW: CU welcomes nine newcomers. The group includes seven freshmen and two transfers. Californians lead the pack with four players: Alyssa Herwatt, Hannah Dearborn, Mikaela Kraus and Tori Cooper. Washington follows with two: Sydney Carlson and Brianna Hooks. Three other players expand Buff Nation, becoming the first players from their respective states. Kenzie Tillitt hails from Nevada, Brooke Rice from Wyoming and Alex Huynh from New South Wales, Australia. Cooper and Rice both have two seasons of collegiate experience under their belts, coming to Colorado by way of Georgia and Santa Clara, respectively.
ALUMNI GAME: CU welcomed back 17 alumni at last Saturday’s preseason exhibition. Brooke Rice, Carly Bolyard, Brie Hooks, Annie Stuller and Tori Cooper all scored goals for the Buffs, with Hayley Hughes, Storie Ledger, Alex Huynh and Olivia Pappalardo contributing assists. Ashley Love was also a presence at net, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
PAC-12 COACHES POLL: Colorado finished 10th in the 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Coaches Poll. UCLA led the group with seven out of 11 possible first-place votes. Four-time defending conference champion and 2012 NCAA runner-up Stanford was just two points shy of the top stop in the poll.
2013 CAPTAINS: Colorado natives Hayley Hughes and Annie Brunner are the 2013 captains. Both seniors had terrific campaigns last season. As a forward in 2012, Hughes started all 20 games and scored two goals and added three assists. She was named to the DU Invitational All-Tournament Team early in the season, helping lead the Buffs to 2-1 victory over Cincinnati. She was also a first-team Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District and NSCAA Scholar All-West Region honorable mention selection. Brunner played all 20 games, recording 70 saves and a 1.14 goals-against average. Her record-setting three shutouts to open the season helped her to the first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week title of the year. She earned CU Athlete of the Week honors for helping shutout out more back-to-back opponents in September. Both excelled in the classroom, with Hughes earning Pac-12 All-Academic first-team and Brunner receiving honorable mention honors.
PATRICK IN NEW POSITION: Rebekah Patrick has been promoted to the CU soccer team Coordinator of Performance Analysis and Camp Operations. Previously, Patrick spent one season as the team’s volunteer asssitant coach. Patrick holds a USSF “C” license. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton in 2006.
BUFFS IN THE LEAGUE: Three former Buffs are currently competing in the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League. Amy Barczuk (2009-12) was selected by the Western New York Flash in the second round (the 14th overall pick) of the inaugural NWSL draft. After playing for multiple teams in multiple leagues, Nikki Marshall (2006-09) signed as a free agent with Portland Thorns FC for the inaugural season. Michelle Wenino (2005-08) returned to the Chicago Red Stars as a third round selection in the supplemental draft. The NWSL regular season concluded on August 18, with the Flash taking home the regular season title. The top four teams moved on to the playoff semifinals, which begin on Saturday, Aug. 24, with Portland Thorns FC taking on FC Kansas City at 2 p.m. ET and Western New York Flash facing Sky Blue FC at 8 p.m. ET. Both games will air on FOX Sports 2.
PRO SOCCER: Kate Russell (2008-11), who got her professional start earlier this year as a reserve player with the Boston Breakers, recently signed overseas with LUV Graz in the Austrian Women’s Bundesliga. The team opened the season on August 11, with a 6-1 loss to USC Landhaus. Their next match is on Friday, Aug. 25 versus ASV Spratzern.
PRENTUP PASS: General admission and parking are still free at Prentup Field for all CU soccer games, though fans can make a $5 voluntary donation to the Buff Club to support CU soccer when attending a game. Fans looking to further support the team while receiving great benefits, including reserved seating, can purchase a Prentup Pass, Prentup Pass Gold or Prentup Pass Platinum for the 2013 season. For more information please visit CUBuffs.com/prentuppass.