In 2007 the University of Colorado soccer team played Stanford University for the first time. Fourteen years and 12 losses later, the Buffs still did not win or draw against the Cardinal. On Sunday afternoon, with less than thirty minutes remaining and trailing by two goals, it appeared that Colorado was well on their way to extend their losing streak against Stanford to 13 games.
But then it happened—a goal of goals.
An incredible, acrobatic, you must see it to believe it, bicycle kick from senior midfielder Shanade Hopcroft found the back of the net in the 64th minute. That goal proved to be a critical momentum changer as it ignited a fiery comeback which saw CU rally to tie the game and force overtime. Unfortunately, Colorado (6-6-2) couldn’t find another goal in extra time and instead had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Stanford (10-3-1) at Prentup Field.
“It would have been very easy against a team that we had never got a result against to hang our heads after going down 2-0,” said head coach Danny Sanchez. “We went in at halftime, and we were talking about how we can get back in this game. And we get back in the game by Shanade [Hopcroft] doing something that I have never seen in my coaching career.”
Before Hopcroft’s second-half heroics, the Buffs got off to a sluggish start against Stanford. It only took 20 minutes for Colorado to find themselves in a 2-0 hole.
The first of the two goals came in the 7th minute due to a beautiful passing exchange between Amy Sayer and Maya Doms. Doms, who was dribbling down the middle of the field, passed the ball to Sayer on her left. When the Buffs’ defense shifted to cover Sayer, she crossed the ball back to a now open Doms who drove the ball into the goal. Ten minutes later, Stanford doubled their lead as a loose ball found the foot of a charging Sierra Enge, who scorched the ball up and past junior goalkeeper Dani Hansen to extend the Cardinal lead to 2-0.
Heading into the break down 2-0, the Buffs returned with better energy and a more assertive approach in the second half. But it wasn’t until the 64th minute that CU got the break they so desperately needed. On a long free-kick, Stanford’s goalkeeper Katie Meyer deflected the ball high up into the air. Watching the ball, Hopcroft positioned herself underneath the ball, left her feet, and launched a breath-taking bicycle kick behind her back and past a stunned Meyer to give Colorado their first goal.
“I just saw the ball go up in the air, and it was like kind of behind me, and I was like this is the perfect opportunity to bike it,” said Hopcroft. “I was like, I am just going to go for it. And I did, and it went in.”
Riding off the energy of that play, Colorado struck again just a few minutes later. Again, Hopcroft was at the center of the play as her crossing pass hit junior midfielder Jade Babcock-Chi who tapped the ball to the far-right corner, past a diving Meyer, to tie the game at two goals apiece with 24 minutes still left to play.
“I was buzzing. I think the team was buzzing too,” said Hopcroft. “From there, and well, even before that, we were just like fire.”
For the remainder of the half, the intensity remained high for both teams. However, neither side relented, and the game went to overtime. After another 10 minutes of play, the two teams remained gridlocked, entering double overtime.
In double overtime, the Buffs almost conceded a game-winning goal to Stanford. Stanford’s Samantha Williams got the ball one on one versus Hansen, but Hansen, undeterred, stepped up and blocked the shot to end the threat. Colorado had one last desperate attempt at a goal in the final seconds, but that came up short. After 110 minutes of play, the Buffs had earned a 2-2 draw against Stanford.
“Still good to get the result. Especially coming from 2-0 down at halftime like that is really hard to do, to pick your heads up and keep going,” said Hopcroft. “We were so close to winning. I wish we did win. But we came back from 2-0, and so that is positive and good.”
The draw not only snapped a 12 game losing streak to Stanford, but it also ended a current three-game losing streak. Colorado will look to keep that positive momentum going as they conclude their final homestand of the season this week. The Buffs will host Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. MST and Oregon State on Sunday, Oct. 24 at noon MST.