Boulder - The University of
Colorado soccer team came short of grabbing its first conference win on a rainy
Sunday afternoon against Oregon State to conclude a five-game homestand. The
Buffaloes faced an impenetrable defense, and fell 2-0 to the Beavers.
Oregon State snaps a four game winless streak to improve to 10-4-1 overall, 2-3-1 Pac-12. For the sixth time this season, the Beavers scored at least two goals, a mark at which they are undefeated. The Buffs are still fighting for their first conference win of the season, with a record of 6-6-3 overall, 0-5-1 Pac-12.
"Our offense always works really, really hard and we try to get as many opportunities for them as we can," CU defender Bianca Jones said. "I think that it will come for us. It will come. We work really hard each week, so luck will go our way in one of these games."
Both teams took eight shots a piece, but only had a combined five shots on goal. Oregon State was led by Megan Miller and Jenna Richardson, who both have scored five goals this season. In the 20th minute, OSU took the first shot of game and Miller netted a cross from junior Jessica Niewoehner. In the 64th minute, Richardson added the insurance to take the 2-0 win.
"The first goal she had a great cross," Jones said. "We couldn't get to it in time, and the girl had a fantastic touch. We were marking her, and she just got around us. The second goal, it deflected off the girl, and again (it was) unlucky."
The first half offense picked up at the same rate as the rain falling. Neither team took a shot until the Beavers scored in the 20th minute. Oregon State outshot the Buffs five to three in the first half, and had nine fouls compared to CU's four.
Eight minutes in, Jessica Niewoehner proved to be a force for the Beavers. She dribbled past Madison Krauser and Bianca Jones, but Annie Brunner stopped the ball before she could take a shot. A minute later, Anne Stuller had a solid strike from the right side of OSU's net, but no Buffs were able to make a shot.
With 30 minutes remaining, Carly Bolyard crossed one over the net, and the Buffs couldn't reclaim possession.
At 19:16, Oregon State took the first shot of the game, and sent one into the net to claim at 1-0 lead. Niewoehner got past the CU defense once more, sending a strong cross to Megan Miller at the left side of the net. Miller sent the ball to the middle of the net and past Brunner.
The Buffs got their first shot in the half with 17 minutes remaining when Stuller hit a free kick wide. Colorado gained more possession following the Beavers' goal, but couldn't get a shot on goal until the final minute of the half.
In the final 13 minutes, Niewoehner was at it again, crossing a long ball to the left. Brittney Oljar tapped one near the net, but Brunner grabbed her first save of the game.
CU fought to control the tempo, and grabbed more leverage in the closing six minutes. After a Colorado throw in, Emily Paxton ran from the left side to find Barczuk in the middle. After gaining composure, Barczuk took a shot that got blocked but almost made it past OSU keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme.
In the final minute, Marissa Kovac shot the ball right at Brunner, and CU reclaimed possession. With under 20 seconds before the break, Shaye Marshall dribbled down the middle and took a great shot at the net.
Prudhomme grabbed the save, but Stuller almost recovered the ball and a big opportunity before a Colorado offsides was called. The Buffs would head into halftime down 1-0.
"I'm disappointed in the first half," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "They scored a great goal, but we didn't create anything. We didn't have a shot on goal until 15 second to go in the first half, and their keeper made a great save. It easily could have been 1-1 going into halftime, but we didn't deserve it to be. The second half we played a lot of energy. We had to take some chances. We knew they were going to have opportunities on the counter. I can't fault the effort. I can't fault the fight."
Colorado fought to get the upper hand in the opening minutes of the second half. In the 47th minute, OSU took a free kick that made it past the wall of Buffs, but was shot high. Two minutes later, the Buffs got the ball. Off a hustle play, Stuller had a shot blocked.
Though Colorado outshot Oregon State five to three in the second half, the Beavers continued to control the ball and spread the CU defense.
In the 56th minute, Hughes opened up the middle of the field and found Stuller on the right side of OSU's net. Stuller crossed to Barczuk who headed the ball with great force, sending the ball just wide. Oregon State would get another good look off a free kick, but it wasn't until the 64th minute that they would capitalize.
At 63:55, Jenna Richardson had complete control of the situation as she dribbled the ball and avoided CU's defense. She took a shot from the middle right and sent the ball into the opposite side of the net to help the Beavers take a 2-0 lead.
In the final 25 minutes of the game, the Beavers worked to limit the Buffs' looks at the net. After OSU shot two balls wide, the Buffs regained possession. With 15 minutes remaining, Barczuk took another great shot, but Prudhomme tapped the ball up and away. The Buffs took two corner kicks after her shot, the first of which got caught up between Barczuk and the OSU defense, and almost broke free for a CU scoring opportunity. The Buffs would hold onto the ball, with Hughes sending the ball wide, but they couldn't get a shot on goal in the remaining time.
The game continued to be physical, with Oregon State picking up six more fouls and two yellow cards (Erin Uchacz and Laura Rayfield in the final seven minutes). The Beavers came close to scoring once more in the final 10 minutes, but Richardson couldn't react fast enough to take the shot.
CU couldn't make anything out of free kick attempts, and Paxton hit one wide in the closing minute to end the game 2-0 in the Beavers' favor.
Coach Sanchez said his team is defending well, but needs to create more opportunities and be more dangerous, especially in the "great character test" they have ahead of them against the No. 3 ranked team in the country.
"The only thing I'm thinking about right now is UCLA, on the road, under the lights at their place," Sanchez said. "It's going to be a huge challenge for us, but the good thing about the Pac-12 is it presents a lot of good challenges."
The Buffs hit the road for the first time since September 21 to begin a four game road trip. CU heads to Los Angeles to take on No. 3 UCLA on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. MT and USC on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. MT.