The Colorado women’s soccer team faces the two Pac-12 teams from Arizona this weekend after losing its Pac-12 opener last weekend at Oregon State, 2-0. The team had a great week of practice, but that hasn’t translated into a conference win.
“What’s gotten me baffled is that we’ve had good weeks of training,” Coach Bill Hempen said. “It’s the final product on game day that we’ve been struggling with.”
The Buffaloes have been shut out in four of their five losses this year. In most games, they have dominated in shots taken and ball possession, but scoring has eluded them. However, the Buffaloes are fortunate to have Amy Barczuk on their side.
“We’re going to move Amy from defense back up front,” Hempen said. “The last time we did that, she scored against Auburn, so we’re going to change the lineup a little bit.”
Against Auburn, Barcuzk weaved a “Maradona” turn in between two defenders and chipped the goalie from over 25 yards out. Barczuk has excelled this year, leading the team with seven points, including three goals.
A door recently opened for last week’s CUI Athlete of the Week: She was invited to attend an Under-23 Women’s National Team camp in Carson, Calif., next week.
“I’m a little nervous, but I think that’s expected,” Barczuk said. “But I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten this opportunity to play at such a high level.”
Barczuk and the rest of the team are now focused only on the Arizona game Friday.
“This weekend is huge for us,” Barczuk said. “We could go 2-and-1 in the Pac-12, which would be awesome, so I think our sights are definitely set on that.”
For senior Amy Steiner, a transfer from Arizona, Friday’s game means a little bit more than the rest.
“Ever since I transferred here, it’s always been that game that I’ve wanted to play,” Steiner said. “It’s kind of fun to talk smack and know they’re still your friends.”
But this weekend will be anything but friendly. The Buffs need two wins and they know it. These games are not just about beating their opponents, but also proving to themselves how good they are.
“The game is not only against Arizona, it’s against ourselves and trying to better our team,” Hempen said. “That’s been the number one focus all week, and, yeah, there’s another opponent out there, but we’ve been fighting against ourselves, and we need to win that battle in order to win the one against the opponent.”