The University of Colorado women’s soccer team pulled out another last-second win Saturday when it defeated University of Denver 1-0 in overtime and clinched the Colorado Cup for the third straight year.
The Buffs beat the Pioneers in their third overtime game of the season. Senior forward Danica Evans scored the golden goal to put Colorado over the top to secure the win.
“We knew going into this game it was gonna be a one-goal game,” head coach Danny Sanchez said. “Every time we play Denver it’s gonna be like this. It’s a local derby. It’s gonna be a battle. I thought we rose to the challenge — we had a great week of training and I think it was a well-deserved win at the end of the day.”
Six Colorado schools compete for the Colorado Cup: CU, Colorado State University, DU, Air Force, Colorado College and Northern Colorado. The Buffs previously beat Air Force 2-0 and Colorado State 2-1, and was in need of a win or tie against DU to keep the cup in Boulder.
Colorado kept an offensive edge over the Pioneers in the first half of the match. At the half’s conclusion, Colorado recorded a total of 10 shots, including six shots on goal. The Buffs managed four corner kicks, but none of the attempts resulted in a score.
Sophomore forward Erin Greening took the first shot of the game for the Buffs. Senior forward Emily Bruder exhibited her lightning-fast speed, edging out many of DU’s players to win crucial possessions.
Despite the strong effort from the CU offense, the Pioneers did not give in. DU goalie Cassidy Rey picked up some improbable saves for her team. Rey continually slapped the ball out of the sky to prevent a Colorado lead.
Things got heated on the sidelines following some controversial actions from players on both teams. Denver head coach Jeff Hooker was issued the only yellow card of the game with just over 15 minutes left to play in the half.
Sophomore goalie Jalen Tompkins recorded three saves in the little action that she received in the half.
The second half of the game belonged much more to the DU offense, which tested the Buffs’ D. Tompkins added three more saves in the process. Colorado only managed two shots on goal during the half.
Colorado nearly had the game won in the 88th minute of regulation. Freshman forward Camilla Shymka juked a DU defender and went one-on-one with the goalie but was unsuccessful in her attempt to score.
Following two solid halves of competitive and aggressive soccer, the game proceeded into overtime.
Colorado avoided a second overtime period when freshman midfielder Taylor Kornieck found an open Evans in front of the net. The Buffs scored the game-ending goal in the 99th minute of the match and secured a final victory.
Kornieck led Colorado in shots with five, followed closely by Evans, who recorded four. Tompkins closed out the match with a total of six saves.
There has been a shift in attitude on the field from last season for the Buffs, and players are noticing the difference.
“We’re coming out on the field at the beginning of games with more energy, and that just sets the game up for us,” Evans said. “We’re getting shots off, we’re playing well together, and as long as we keep doing that throughout Pac-12, we’re gonna be good.”
CU will enter the Pac-12 portion of its season with a 6-3 record. Colorado will kick off the conference part of its schedule on the road this Friday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. MST against Washington State.