A second half penalty kick proved to be the difference as third-ranked UCLA defeated the Buffs 2-1 on Friday night at Drake Stadium.
CU (6-7-3, 0-6-1 Pac-12) dropped below the .500 mark for the first time this year and fell to 0-10-1 in its last 11 conference games, dating back to last year.
As they've done all year, though, the Buffs did not go down quietly. This was their fifth one-goal loss in Pac-12 play.
Trailing 2-0 with 5 minutes to play, CU's Bianca Jones hit a bullet from about 40 yards out and scored to cut the Bruins' lead to 2-1. It was the first career goal for the sophomore from Smoky Hill High School.
CU nearly had the equalizer with just over a minute to play and then sent everybody -- including goalkeeper Annie Brunner -- into the box for a free kick in the final seconds, but couldn't find the net again.
UCLA (13-0-2, 6-0-1) scored just before halftime for a 1-0 lead. On a corner kick in the 42nd minute, Sarah Killion sent the ball toward the net and Lucretia Lee booted it in for her first goal of the year.
In the 71st minute, the Bruins were awarded a penalty kick. Killion took that shot and punched it past Brunner for a 2-0 lead.
CU had several good scoring chances throughout the night and Brunner made six saves to keep it close.
CU head coach Danny Sanchez made some tweaks to his starting lineup. Defender Quinn Krier, who had started all 15 games coming in, and midfielder Olivia Pappalardo, who had started 14 straight, came off the bench. They combined to play just 67 minutes. In their place, the Buffs gave Lauren Shaner her first start since Aug. 26 and Emily Paxton her first since Aug. 24. ... The Buffs fell to 1-4 all-time against the Bruins. ... UCLA defeated the Buffs 8-0 in Boulder a year ago. ... CU visits Southern Cal on Sunday at 2 p.m.
UCLA 2, Colorado 1
At Drake Stadium, Los Angeles
Colorado (6-7-3, 0-6-1) 0 1 -- 1
UCLA (13-0-2, 6-0-1) 1 1 -- 2
Goals (assists) -- UCLA: Lucretia Lee (Sarah Killion), 41:26; UCLA; Killion (penalty kick), 70:34: CU: Bianca Jones (Quinn Krier), 85:00.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) -- CU: Annie Brunner (90-2-6); UCLA: Katelyn Rowland (90-1-3).