Granted, the scoring woes that have afflicted the Colorado women's soccer team lately have occurred against some of the top programs in the nation.
Still, with appearances in three of the past four NCAA Tournaments, the Buffaloes expect to compete with the best of the best. Stanford had different ideas Sunday, as the No. 2-ranked Cardinal extended the Buffs' offensive struggles while handing the hosts a 3-0 defeat at Prentup Field.
Colorado native Civana Kuhlmann, a freshman from Chatfield High School, scored two goals for Stanford.
"They have quality everywhere," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "I think this year they are more dynamic in the attack, which I think every coach in the country would say. They played well today. Having said that, I thought we played well. If you look at their three goals, it was three quality goals. I don't really feel we made any mistakes in the back. I thought we were competitive. I thought they bought into the tactics. If you're going to get beat on goals, those were quality goals."
It was the third consecutive scoreless effort for the Buffs and their fourth in the past five games. CU fell to 0-3 this season against ranked foes, not including a 3-0 defeat last month at Texas, which has since risen to No. 7 in the national poll.
Since a 6-1 win at the University of Denver on Sept. 16, the Buffs have scored just one goal in five Pac-12 Conference games — a Marty Puketapu goal on Sept. 28 in a 2-0 win at Washington State (the Buffs' other tally in that match was an own-goal by WSU). The Buffs have faced No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Stanford, and No. 20 Cal during that stretch, and the schedule doesn't get any easier with a match at No. 6 USC, the defending national champion, on Friday.
"I think the biggest struggle right now is just getting our confidence up," senior Becca Rasmussen said. "Obviously, everyone is disappointed, and we feel down from this loss. I think the biggest challenge is going to be how quick we pick ourselves back up and have the energy and desire to go at these next couple games."
Kuhlmann gave the Cardinal a 1-0 halftime lead on her first goal in the 32nd minute, and Stanford extended its advantage to 2-0 in the 57th minute on a highlight-reel goal from Michelle Xiao, whose shot arced from the left side of the penalty area into the top right corner of the net.
Kuhlmann, playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, recorded the first two-goal game of her young career with another tally in the 74th minute.
"We've known through some of this stretch goals were going to be at a premium. That's not going to change next Friday (at USC)," Sanchez said. "If you look around the conference, goals are at a premium everywhere. We look at every game like this is a fresh opportunity, so it's not like we're pressing more or doing anything different. We just need a little more quality going forward."
No. 2 Stanford 3, Colorado 0
At Prentup FieldStanford (12-1-0, 5-0-0)1 2—3
Goals (assists) — Stanford: Kuhlmann (Boissiere), 37th minute; Stanford: Xiao (DiBiasi), 57th minute; Stanford: Kuhlmann (Pickett), 74th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Stanford: Jahansouz (90-0-1); Colorado: Tompkins (66-2-5), Watson (24-1-0).