The six-goal eruption on Sunday by a Colorado soccer team that previously had scored just two goals in three games forced a significant reshuffle of the program's record book.
Freshman Martine Puketapu recorded the fifth hat trick in the program's history — the first since Anne Stuller on Sept. 8, 2013 — and broke a CU record with seven points in the first half. Puketapu registered the fastest hat trick in team history, notching her third goal at the 21 minute, 41 second mark. Nikki Marshall held the previous record, earning a hat trick in the first minute of the second half against St. Mary's in 2009.
Of the five hat tricks in CU history, Puketapu's was just the second by a freshman, as Marshall recorded the first of two career hat tricks in 2006.
It was just the fourth time the Buffs have scored at least six goals in a game, and the first since Marshall led a record eight-goal performance against St. Mary's in 2009.
"We needed this feeling," Puketapu said. "We were so positive once we got a couple goals going. We just knew we wanted to keep this feeling, so hopefully it rolls on to the next game."
CU tallied 16 shots on goal through the season's first three games but launched 13 Sunday against UC-Riverside. The Buffs' also took their 4-0 lead at the 21:41 mark, the fastest CU has ever taken a 4-0 lead.
Zuniga to redshirt
Colorado coach Danny Sanchez said junior forward Stephanie Zuniga will not play this season and will redshirt.
Despite playing off the bench in 2016 Zuniga proved to be a timely contributor, sharing the team lead with six assists. She was injured late in spring practice earlier this year, and with the addition of Puketapu and senior transfer Becca Rasmussen to the top of the attack, there was little need to rush Zuniga back at less than 100 percent.
"We pretty much knew that was going to be the case," Sanchez said. "She'll jump back into training at some point, but there's no sense in burning a year of eligibility to play part of the season. She's a good player. She led our team in assists last year. We're going to wait until she's 100 percent and be smart with her."
Labor Day battle
After playing their first four games in 10 days, the Buffs will get a brief respite before completing their five-game homestand against Cal State-Northridge on Saturday and Brigham Young on Labor Day. CU didn't want to schedule a Friday game at the same time as the CU-CSU football showdown in Denver, and BYU doesn't typically schedule games on Sundays.
"Nobody's working, nobody's in school, and it's BYU, a perennial top-10 or 15 team," Sanchez said. "Northridge will be a huge challenge for us. They only gave up nine goals last season. They're a very good team. And BYU coming in on a Monday where there's not much going on. Hopefully we'll get a big crowd out because that will be an exciting game for us."
With an assist on Puketapu's first goal on Sunday, senior defender Joss Orejel increased her career total to 11. She is one of four players tied for ninth-place on CU's career assists list...Hannah Scheid recorded her first career assist...The lopsided score allowed a number of Buffs to make their first appearances of the season, including Isobel Dalton and Broomfield High alum Jordan Goodwin. Freshman forward Katie Joella played one minute over the first three games but logged 40 minutes on Sunday.