Coming off of two losses and Sunday’s draw against Washington, the University of Colorado had nothing but victory in mind against Arizona State Friday afternoon. The Buffs shut out the Sun Devils 2-0 at Prentup Field in Boulder, with junior goalkeeper Kate Scheele recording five saves.
It took just under four minutes for junior midfielder Olivia Pappalardo to give the Buffs their first goal of the afternoon, setting the pace for a dominant 90 minutes of play. An early goal for the Buffaloes is an anomaly; Colorado scored 18 of their 24 goals this season in the second half. Sophomore forward Brie Hooks assisted Pappalardo’s goal and netted Colorado’s second in the 74th minute. Hooks leads CU with seven goals and 18 points this season.
“It was definitely important to win today,” Hooks said after the game. “We were focusing on coming out of the weekend with six points, and this home game was a good start.”
Although offensive players like Hooks usually own the limelight, performances like Scheele’s and a strong defense are what will carry the Buffs through the postseason.
“Our defense is probably one of our most solid lines. Every game, in and out, they’re working the hardest,” Hooks said. “If we don’t have that, we don’t get the win.”
Over the past five meetings with the Buffs, ASU has won four matches and tied one. Friday broke that losing streak for Colorado, and marked the Sun Devils’ first trip to Boulder since 2011. They are now 4-3-1 on the road this season. The Buffs, on the other hand, are 6-3-1 at home this season. At 11-6-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the Pac-12, today’s win should give the Colorado a boost behind their current eighth place conference ranking. The Buffs were originally polled to place fifth in the Pac-12 in the preseason.
As a Halloween-themed incentive, Colorado offered a reusable CU trick-or-treat bag to the 608 fans in attendance this afternoon. They’ll continue their five-game home stand against the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday.
Scheele, with nine clean-sheets in 2014, joined past goalies Jessica Keller and Annie Brunner in the second place spot for CU single-season shutouts. Although she is a first-year Buffalo, Scheele has broken the top five for career shutouts. Head coach Danny Sanchez reached the 300 mark for career wins. This includes the 17 seasons Sanchez coached before coming to Boulder three years ago.
CU’s home stand and regular season will end with a match against the Utes on Friday, Nov. 7. With an average of 1.41 goals per game through 2014, a shutout against the Buffs heading into the NCAA playoffs does not seem to lie ahead. These final two home games should be the final sources as to whether CU can get back to the Sweet Sixteen.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 12 p.m. MST and will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Jordyn Siemens at email@example.com.