University of Colorado soccer defeated in-state rival University of Denver on Saturday in a heated battle that went to the ninth minute of a sudden-death overtime, 1-0.
"We knew going into this game it was going to be a one-goal game," head coach Danny Sanchez said. "I thought we rose to the challenge. We had a great week of training, and I thought it was a well-deserved win at the end of it."
Throughout the entire game, a keeper battle between CU's Jalen Tompkins and DU's Cassidy Rey and Brittany Wilson kept the game at a stalemate. But at the 9:17 mark of OT, junior striker Danica Evans put the game to an end when she netted the goal that not only won the game for the Buffaloes, but clinched them the Colorado Cup.
"It felt good because we were obviously trying to win the Colorado cup and we had so many chances throughout the game. It just felt great to see the ball go in the net." Evans said.
Despite the close final score, the Buffaloes (6-3) dominated the stat line. For the game, the Buffs took 20 shots, nine on goal, whereas DU (3-6) only aimed six of 10 accurately.
"I thought we stayed sharp, stayed focused," Sanchez said. "Denver put some good pressure on us, towards the end of the game especially and I think in the first overtime, but I was pleased with what we did."
The heat of the rivalry, along with the tension of the Colorado Cup, reached a maximum height in the first half as Pioneers coach Jeff Hooker received a yellow card for relentlessly screaming at the refs for a missed call.
The intensity of play from both teams heightened even more in the second half, as Denver took over the offensive momentum by dominating possession for the majority of the last leg of regulation.
Throughout the first half, both teams held fairly equally possession but the Buffaloes pushed the pace harder on offense. CU's defense spoiled Tompkins in the first 45 minutes of play as it only allowed six shots on goal, three of which Tompkins had to save.
On the other side of the ball, Denver played just as aggressively on defense but was a bit lackadaisical on the offensive. The Pioneers only got three shots on goal, but keeper Cassidy Rey made some of the craziest saves, including a double-fisted sucker punch out of the center of the goal.
After the victory, the Buffs head next to Washington State as they begin Pac-12 play on Friday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.
Colorado 1, Denver 0Denver 0 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — Colorado: Danica Evans (Taylor Kornieck), 99th minute
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Denver: Brittany Wilson (55-1-2), Cassidy Rey (45-0-6); Colorado: Jalen Tompkins (99-0-6).