A mixture of promising sunlight and gloomy clouds cradled Prentup Field in an afternoon display of odd, but typical Colorado climate.
Unfortunately for the Colorado Buffaloes (3-2) soccer team, that climate wasn’t very nurturing as they closed the Colorado Soccer Classic on Sunday with a 2-1 loss to the University of Oregon.
“It’s hard because the last five minutes we were going at them, and we had so many shots,” said freshman Shaye Marshall. “It’s very disappointing.”
Marshall, the younger sister of senior forward Nikki Marshall, netted the Buffaloes lone goal in the 66th minute of play. She scored her first career goal on a mid-range shot just inches outside of the 18-yard mark.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Marshall said. “It’s definitely helpful when you’re down 2-0,”
The Ducks (2-1-1) took very little time in developing their efforts. They attacked quickly and moved the ball swiftly up the field during the first half, resulting in a goal in the 14th minute from Jen Stoltenberg.
Senior Buffs goalkeeper Kara Linder was very busy on the final day of the tournament, nudging off several shots despite being scored on twice.
“We knew we had to kick it up after that,” Linder said. “They came out ready to play, and we matched them.”
Linder commented that the game “was frustrating, especially with the outcome.”
Sophomore defender Kelci Newlin believed being scored on first only had minimal effects.
“It changed our energy a little bit,” Newlin said. “We could kind of feel the drag and we should be able to keep the energy the same. We try to do that, especially at home because we have the fan support here.”
Newlin added that some areas needed improvement.
“We’ve been working on just staying organized,” Newlin said. “We really have to work on staying wide and switching the ball more.”
Oregon’s second goal came in the 62nd minute, courtesy of Stoltenberg.
A series of shots in the 86th minute, beginning with a Kassidy Fitzpatrick effort and closing with a Nikki Marshall shot, kept the Buffs’ hopes alive.
Head coach Bill Hempen noted that the previous game may have affected the Buffs’ performance on Sunday.
“I realized we played a very emotional, draining game [against Denver],” Hempen said. “Our kids played that game Friday based on our opponent. We weren’t as sharp as we could have been.”
Hempen assures that the chaotic schedule is commonplace, especially after mentioning the upcoming road game against Florida — an opponent situated nearly 2,000 miles from Boulder.
“That’s part of the challenge, of being part of a program like this,” Hempen said. “You have those games, and they keep coming and keep coming. It’s relentless.”
The Buffs (3-2) will face Utah at home on Friday and Florida on the road on Sunday.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Esteban L. Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.