Colorado’s women’s soccer team gave UCLA a taste of what is to come when the Buffs make the switch to the Pac-10.
Colorado (4-4-0) beat No. 10 UCLA Bruins (5-2-1) 1-0 in overtime 1-0, at Prentup Field Sunday. It was both teams’ final game in the Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic Tournament. Despite the loss, UCLA were the tournament’s winners.
“We relied on some players we don’t normally rely on” said Colorado head coach Bill Hempen. “They all did a great job for us today.”
Hempen came out with a few changes in the starting lineup contrast from the lineup beaten by Purdue Friday. The most obvious of these was moving freshman defender Alex Dohm to defend against UCLA junior forward Sydney Leroux.
Dohm’s task was a difficult one, as Leroux is UCLA’s top scorer.
“[Coach Hempen] told me to stay on Leroux,” Dohm said. “My role was to shut her down.”
Dohm and the rest of the defense kept the Bruins scoreless. Colorado was helped by freshman goalkeeper Annie Brunner, who recorded five saves.
“[Brunner] just grew up today,” Hempen said. “On a big stage, against one of the best teams in the country, for her to keep up in the game, when [the team] the big saves, she did it.”
Both teams had their chances through regulation, with 12 shots a piece, but neither could find the back of the net.
Overtime was more of the same, with teams trading opportunities. UCLA forced Brunner to punch the ball over the net from a free kick in the first overtime period.
An unlikely source gave Colorado the win in the second period of overtime. Freshman defender Lizzy Herzl took a shot, which sailed past the UCLA goalkeeper for Herzl’s first goal of her college career.
With the coming move to the Pac-10, Colorado can use this win to spark their chances in the new conference.
“It feels good now,” Herzl said. “But we’re going to have to step it up just as hard next year.”
After dropping three goals to Purdue, Hempen was happy with the turn around on defense.
“It’s been very disappointing with all the goals that [the team has] been giving up,” Hempen said. “[The shut out] was a great defensive effort from our stand point.”
Colorado will look to take the momentum from this game into Big 12 play, which begins next week.
“Maybe today [the team] found what it takes to win” Hempen said.
Contact CU Independent Soccer Reporter Mark McNeillie at Mark.email@example.com.