On a warm, cloudless afternoon at Prentup Field, the University of Colorado’s women’s soccer team began Pac-12 play with a thrilling, double overtime upset against No. 14 UC Berkley.
The nearly 1,000 fans in attendance Sunday afternoon saw 105 minutes of competitive soccer between the Pac-12 schools.
The Bears took an early 1-0 lead after a goal made by Cal junior Lynsey Hromatko put them on top in the 38th minute. The goal came from a corner kick by the Bears, and Buffs goalkeeper Kate Scheele was able to get a hand on the ball to make a save, but Hromatko was near the goal and sent the ball past Scheele to record her first goal of the season.
The Buffs made sure that the Bears’ lead wouldn’t last long, with sophomore Brittney Stark scoring her third goal of the year and tying the game at 1-1 at the 39th minute mark. Senior forward Emily Paxton got the ball at midfield and sent it to junior standout Brie Hooks, who sent a cross left to right to connect with Stark for the goal.
A scoreless second half saw many defensive plays. Though the Bears took double the amount of shots as the Buffs in that half, the Buffs defended the goal and Scheele made three key saves to keep the score in regulation tied.
Overtime maintained the same strong defensive play by both schools, with Colorado only making one shot on goal in the second overtime. That game-winning goal came from Paxton, who recorded her first ever career game-winner with less than five minutes left to play in the second overtime period. With sophomore Joss Orejel placing a perfect ball off of a corner kick at the back post, Paxton was there to head it in past Cal’s goalie Emily Boyd.
“She puts it in a good spot, and that last one was a great shot to get that on goal,” said Paxton, regarding Orejel’s stellar play on corner kicks.
With the Buffs now sitting at a 7-2-1 overall record and 1-0-0 in Pac-12 play, they are gaining the confidence and momentum needed now to extend Pac-12 play on the road next weekend against Oregon and Oregon State.
“Cal is a very good team, but credit to our players who continue to work hard,” said Head Coach Danny Sanchez. “Oregon and Oregon State are much-improved, and on the road at their turf they’re going to be desperate for wins.”
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Alex Aiello at firstname.lastname@example.org.