A victory over your rivals is always sweet.
The Inaugural Rocky Mountain College Cup kicked off Saturday, as CU men’s and women’s club soccer teams beat in-state rival CSU at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The format for the cup involved a doubleheader, a men’s game and a women’s game. The combined goals scored by the men and women would be used to determine the overall winner. CU won.
The Cup was opened by the women’s game. CSU scored first, in the 15th minute, when a high cross bounced in the box and CSU sophomore forward Taylor Grillo helped the ball into the net.
The Rams took their 1-0 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
CU Head Coach Dorian Barnes pointed to nervousness as a reason for the women’s team’s struggles.
“Coming into a venue like this, playing an arch rival, there was a lot of emotion behind the game,” Barnes said. “A lot of nerves probably played part of the fact.”
Despite their strong start in the second half, the Buffs conceded in the 51st minute. The Rams won a corner kick, which found its way to CSU forward Holly Hoguta, who doubled Colorado State’s lead.
Colorado pegged one back in the 61st minute, when a pass found CU sophomore forward Tara Kissler, who was open on left wing and fired the ball into the back of the net.
Kissler’s goal brought some motivation back to the team.
“We definitely picked it up [after the goal],” Kissler said. “It felt like it was more possible to come back.”
Despite lots of pressure in the final minutes, CU could not find an equalizer. The Rams took the women’s game 2-1. Colorado State women’s record is now 3-0, while the Buffs fell to 1-1.
The men’s teams took the field 30 minutes after the women’s game, and the Buffs came out looking for revenge. Both men’s teams had won their opener, and were looking to keep their season perfect.
The Colorado men’s team was focused on getting the win.
“[The mood] was tense in the locker room,” said Head Coach Dave Vaughan. “There wasn’t a lot of smiling, wasn’t a lot of laughing.”
CU opened strong, and took the lead in the 18th minute with a goal by defender Connor Hutchinson.
The Buff’s lead was doubled in the 41st minute. Grad-student midfielder Daniel Campbell struck a volley from just outside that deflected off the CSU goalkeeper. The deflection off the keeper found senior forward Ben Stump, who had an easy tap in.
Stump increased Colorado’s lead to 3-0 in the 61st minute. The Buff’s cruised for the final half hour, taking home the shutout against their rivals.
The CU men’s team is looking to take this win and build upon it.
“Anytime you get a 3-0 result against a good opponent, it’s definitely something you can build on going forward,” Stump said.
After the game, the team was singing the praises of Campbell, who joined the Buffs after 4 years at UC-Davis.
“Having Dan on our squad is huge,” said Vaughan. “He gets the game; it’s a good, positive spark in the middle of the field that we didn’t have last year.”
After celebrating their victory, the Buffs men’s team takes on their alumni in a friendly match Sunday, and the women’s team look for some revenge of their own against CSU this Friday.
The Buffs won the combined game and the Inaugural Rocky Mountain College Cup 4-2.
Contact Mark McNeille at Mark.email@example.com.