Colorado State typically enters its rivalry battles against the Colorado women's soccer team as decisive underdogs.
Not that anyone would know that from the way the Rams give the Buffaloes all they can handle in just about every showdown.
CSU, led by former Colorado coach Bill Hempen, once again didn't back down against their more touted rivals from Boulder, with the two teams battling to a scoreless draw Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field. It was the second consecutive year the Rams and Buffs have finished in a scoreless draw, with CSU goalie Hunter Peifer saving the result for the Rams with 10 saves.
CU is coming off its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in five seasons while the Rams were picked 11th in the 12-team Mountain West Conference in the league's preseason coaches poll. Yet the clubs played toe-to-toe for the second consecutive year. The Buffs are now 2-0-3 all-time against the Rams, with all three draws occurring over the past four matches.
"Like I told the team, it kind of is what it is," CU coach Danny Sanchez said. "We've tried all different ways to approach it, but every year it's like this. I think what was a little disappointing for us is we started to care when it was too late. You have to care as much in the first minute as you do in the 109th minute.
"All of the sudden you see the two overtimes and how many chances we created in those 20 minutes. We created more chances in those 20 minutes than we did in the first 90 minutes of the game."
Both teams were able to escape facing deficits thanks to some stellar defense.
Peifer faced a total of 30 CU shots and had teammate Lexi Swenson to thank for preserving the shutout. The senior defender from Thornton covered for Peifer midway through the first overtime when CU's Marty Puketapu enjoyed an open look, with Swenson clearing the potential golden goal off the Rams' goal line.
Sanchez opted to reverse his goalie rotation in the season's second game by giving senior Scout Watson the starting nod, but it was JJ Tompkins who made the day's most impressive save in the 60th minute. Tompkins was able to cut down the angle on a breakaway chance by CSU's Ally Murphy-Pauletto before recording one of her four saves.
While CU still has yet to allow a goal on the young season, opening the year with a 3-0 win Thursday at Air Force, the Rams are still looking to score their first goal of 2018. In a 1-1 opening draw at Denver, CSU received its tally via an own goal by DU.
"The one thing we have that we can control is our effort," Hempen said. "We know we don't have athletes like (CU), so we have to play as hard as we can. With any team I've coached, I've tried to make that point number one. (Swenson) didn't have to do that. She wanted to do that."
Going back to the end of the teams' 2016 meeting, CU and CSU have played nearly 244 consecutive minutes without producing a goal. ... In the earlier games of the Colorado Cup tripleheader Sunday at Prentup, Colorado College defeated DU 2-0 and Northern Colorado topped Air Force 3-1. ... The Buffs survived a scare when senior defender Erin Greening left the field due to an apparent knee injury in the 74th minute. She returned for the first overtime. ... CU continues its four-game homestand against Missouri on Saturday (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
Colorado 0, Colorado State 0
At Prentup FieldColorado (1-0-1)0 0 0 0 — 0
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — CSU: Peifer (110-0-10); CU: Watson (45-0-3), Tompkins (65-0-4).