Eugene, Ore. - The University of Colorado soccer team showed strength all over the pitch in their scoreless Pac-12 Conference opener against Oregon. The teams battled back and forth through two overtimes in their first meeting at Pape Field.
"I think we battled very well," head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We're pleased to have posted a clean sheet over 110 minutes. Hayley (Hughes) had a chance early, and (Anne) Stuller had a shot that was stopped by a good save by the goalkeeper. Big picture we want to go into the Pac-12 on the road and get results, and that's what we did. It gave us something to look forward to next weekend against the Washington schools."
The Buffs (6-1-3) and Ducks (5-2-2) remain undefeated through four straight games. Both teams have shown their defensive prowess, shutting out a combined eight teams before Friday's game.
For the third game in a row, CU goalkeeper Annie Brunner had four saves. With six shutouts this season, she moves into a four-way tie for third place on CU's single season list. She claims sole possession of third place on the all-time list with 13 shutouts in her career,
The Ducks barely outshot the Buffs, 16-13 in a defense-heavy game. Oregon goalkeeper Abby Steele stopped CU's front line, saving the ball seven times.
"Oregon has dangerous players," Sanchez said. "We limited qualities looks at our goal and blocked corner kicks. I'm happy with our defense in goal, and I think we'll build off this game."
Annie Brunner had a busy first half. In the first five minutes, she saw a pair of shots come her way and grabbed her first save in the second minute.
In the ninth minute, Hughes got one on goal, but Steele snatched the save. Both teams went on a shooting drought until Stuller sent it wide just under 15 minutes in, spurring a Buffs attack.
Hughes took a couple more shots, while Stuller and Krauser both came close with 20 minutes remaining.
Oregon picked up its intensity, allowing CU just one more shot in the half and taking six of their own. The CU defense stayed strong, with Brunner picking up two saves in the final 11 minutes.
Stuller came out hot after the break. She got one on goal in the first two minutes, and nabbed the ball twice more in the next 15.
Krauser picked up where Stuller left off. She sent the ball wide at the 65:43 mark, and again just over two minutes later.
The game got physical with the Ducks picking up two of their three yellow cards, and CU captain Amy Barczuk nabbing one in the 83rd minute.
The Buffs didn't allow the Ducks to take a shot for over thirty minutes, but Oregon ended regulation in attack mode. In the final eight minutes, the Ducks got off three shots, but couldn't get one past the Buffs.
Oregon kept up its fighting drive into overtime. At 91:15, Brunner saved a shot by Maryn Beutler, and the backline blocked another shot three minutes later.
Krauser took CU's only shot in the first overtime, hitting it wide with just 14 seconds remaining.
Oregon continued its heat, but CU blocked yet another less than two minutes into the second overtime. The Ducks took one final shot with 54 seconds remaining. CU was never able to get the upper-hand or take a shot in the final ten minutes, ending the game at 0-0.
Coach Sanchez said he's happy with the result, but knows the game was just one of 11 in the Pac-12.
"We just focus on ourselves," Sanchez said. "We need to get back to work when we head back to Prentup."
Don't miss your next chances to stand Shoulder to Shoulder with the CU soccer team as they return to Prentup Field on Friday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 30. On Friday, Sept. 28, the Buffs take on Washington at 3:00 p.m. in their first Pac-12 home match of the season!
To finish up the weekend they will face Washington State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after Sunday's game for a special autograph session with the team! Remember general admission and parking are FREE for CU soccer games.