Junior defense player Ryan Zubizarreta kicks the ball past players from Mesa State during a game on Franklin Field Sept. 11.(CU Independent/ Lee Pruitt)
Not much can erase Colorado’s unpleasant memories of the football team’s season-opening home loss to intrastate rival Colorado State on the gridiron.
Perhaps the Buffs’ men’s club soccer team can provide a little soothing balm.
CU will host Colorado State on Friday at Franklin Field. First-year head coach David Vaughan said the Buffs’ black team will get underway at 5 p.m., and the gold team, which fields players who exhibited the highest level of play the previous week, will kick off at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
“We’re hoping we have a big crowd Friday night,” Vaughan said Monday.
Vaughan said the Buffs’ gold squad played the Rams’ second-team Sept. 13 and won 1-0. He expects Friday’s match to be just as challenging, if not more so, because both schools’ best teams will face off.
“I think [the players] remember how tough [CSU] was,” said Vaughan, who played soccer for three years at Arvada West High School. “So I think they will come out ready to go.”
Vaughan said CU’s gold team owns an unblemished 3-0 record with 5-0 and 3-1 victories over Mesa State College of Colorado and Denver University, respectively. The black squad is 1-2-1. Its lone win (3-1) was compliments of the Colorado School of Mines.
The gold squad is ever-changing because, as Vaughan said, he is “trying to create competition every week and everyone has to earn their spot.”
Junior David Comeau, who Vaughan said scored the Buffs’ lone goal against CSU, said he and his teammates will be primed and ready for the Rams.
“We always come out to play,” Comeau said. “It’s our biggest game of the year by far.”
Fifth-year senior Ray Kerzner, one of the program’s three captains, said intensity will be a key factor if CU wants to win.
“[CSU] always comes out with passion,” Kerzner said. “We just need to play smart soccer, stay composed, and just go out and execute.”
Kerzner also said he feels he and his cohorts are quicker and sharper than most teams because of the many speed and running drills Vaughan has introduced.
“The amount of work we’ve done in the first two weeks is more than all we did last year,” Kerzner said. “It makes it easy for us when [the opponent] is sucking wind and we’re not.”
Two other CU players to keep an eye on are sophomore Dan Whittle, who Vaughan said leads the team with four goals, and junior goalkeeper Matt Rowe, who Vaughan said recorded four saves against the Rams.
Vaughan said he is focused on goals such as qualifying for the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association NCCS National Soccer Championships held Nov. 19 to Nov. 21 in Phoenix, Ariz.
The top three teams from the Rocky Mountain League’s regional tournament, which CU hosts from Oct. 23 to 25, will represent the league in Phoenix.
The Buffs were cut down 3-2 by Ohio State University in the quarterfinals of last year’s NIRSA’s NCCS National Soccer Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“I don’t like to focus on stats,” Vaughan said. “My job, and the other coaches’ jobs, is to get the players ready every week.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex K.W. Schultz at Alexander.email@example.com.
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