LOS ANGELES -- Finally!
Amy Barczuk scored midway through the second overtime period and the Colorado women's soccer team broke a year-long winless streak in Pac-12 play on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Southern Cal at McAlister Field.
"I just immediately starting bawling because I was so happy," Barczuk said in a phone interview after the game. "It was just a really sweet moment for this team."
It's just the second-ever Pac-12 win for CU, the first one coming exactly one year earlier on Oct. 21, 2011, at California. The Buffs were 0-10-1 in conference games since that win and improved to 2-15-2 since joining the league in 2011. It was the first Pac-12 win for first-year CU head coach Danny Sanchez.
"Relief would be a great word to describe it," said Barczuk, CU's senior captain. "This team has done nothing but work hard and bought into what the coaching staff has wanted us to do, so everyone has deserved this so much, including the coaching staff.
"It was a lot of relief and it was very exciting at the same time."
After a throw-in, CU's Anne Stuller hit a crossing pass to the front of the net. Barczuk came off her defender, turned and shot the ball past Trojans' goalkeeper Caroline Stanley to give the Buffs their first celebration in a while.
CU (7-7-3, 1-6-1 Pac-12) has endured painful losses throughout Pac-12 play. During a six-game losing streak going into Sunday, the Buffs had suffered five one-goal losses, including two overtime defeats. Barczuk gave CU its first overtime goal since Oct. 25, 2010, against Kansas. The Buffs had been 0-2-6 in overtime games since then, including 0-2-3 this year.
"We've had quite the overtime jinx," Barczuk said. "Hopefully this is the end of it and we finish off the season really well from here on out."
The game was evenly played throughout, with USC (5-8-3, 2-4-2) out-shooting the Buffs 12-11. CU had a 7-5 edge in shots on goal, however, and a whopping 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Both teams increased the pressure in the second half, with USC posting two quick shots on goal in the first minute. CU goalkeeper Annie Brunner, who made all five of her saves in the second half, was up to the challenge.
CU's best scoring chances in regulation came off the foot of Stuller, who posted four shots on goal and five total shots.
Neither team posted a shot in the first overtime. In fact, Barczuk's goal was the only shot for either team in the extra sessions.
Barczuk's goal was her third of the year and ninth of her career. It was her first-ever game-winning goal. ... Stuller has 34 shots on goal this season, sixth most in CU history. ... CU got its first win, and first goal, against the Trojans. CU is now 1-3 all-time against USC, while being outscored 4-1. ... CU has been experienced in close games, but it doesn't match USC. The Trojans have now been involved in 10 one-goal games (plus three ties) and Sunday was their sixth overtime game in eight Pac-12 contests. They dropped to 1-3-2 in Pac-12 OT games. ... The Buffs visit Arizona on Friday and Arizona State on Sunday. They wrap up the regular season with a home date against Utah on Nov. 2.
Colorado 1, USC 0
At McAlister Field, Los Angeles
Colorado (7-7-3, 1-6-1) 0 0 0 1 -- 1
USC (5-8-3, 2-4-2) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Goals (assists) -- CU: Amy Barczuk (Anne Stuller), 104:42.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) -- CU: Annie Brunner (104:42-0-5). USC: Caroline Stanley (104:42-1-6).