For starters, the Buffs were playing in just their second road game of the year, and their first outside of Colorado. On top of that, CU was playing a Washington State squad that had lost just once this season and had not been defeated at home in more than a year. And as if those conditions didn't present enough challenges for the Buffs, they allowed WSU a goal on the home team's first shot, falling behind just minutes into the match.
It all added up to a 3-0 loss for CU, as the Buffs tasted defeat for just the third time in 13 games this year.
The Cougars (9-1-3, 2-1-1) were led by Cara Wegner, who tapped in the early goal after a cross deflected off a CU defender and found the sophomore just in front of the net. Wegner added another score early in the second half after teammate Delaney Zalud found her in front of the goal again for another close-range goal.
Washington State got a third goal just minutes later when Micaela Castain stretched the lead in the 58th minute after finding space at the top of the box and firing a shot to the far right post.
"We talked about how we needed to come out and withstand some early pressure, and we didn't do a good job of that," CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We gave up a goal three minutes into the game.
"We didn't play as well as we're capable of. Washington State, playing at home, they haven't been home in a while, they brought the energy and deserved the win. We'll have to gather ourselves and get ready for Sunday at Washington."
Colorado (10-3, 2-2) traveled to Washington State having won four of its last five, all at home, but found finishing on the road difficult. The Buffs managed to fire nine shots, five of them on goal, but were never able to beat keeper Clair Gurveen. Anne Stiller and Carly Bolyard had two chances apiece, with each putting one of their attempts on goal. No other Buff had more than one shot attempt.
Colorado will have a chance to redeem itself when it makes the five-hour trek to Seattle to face Washington on Sunday. That match will be followed by another road game at Cal next week before the Buffs return home to battle USC on Oct. 25.
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